Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Visiting Indonesian Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has been charmed by President Mnangagwa’s economic policies and yesterday announced that his country’s President, Joko Widodo will visit Zimbabwe before the end of the year.
President Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra has seen various investors scouting for business opportunities, while others have already set up shop in the country.
Minister Pandjaitan said this after paying a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House and expressed his country’s keenness to deepen ties with Zimbabwe especially in mining and agriculture.
“We had a very good discussion with President ED and there are two areas of cooperation that we discussed; number one is forestry and agriculture and this is a thing about South-South cooperation. Number two is about mining. Indonesia has critical mining, Zimbabwe also,” he said.
The Indonesian Minister said Zimbabwe was among African countries that were endowed with vast mineral resources that could be exploited for the benefit of its people.
With a population of over 275 million people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth-most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority country.
The southeast Asian country, which lies between the Indian and Pacific oceans, consists of over 17 000 islands and is a rising economic powerhouse which is classified as a newly industrialised country.
According to a 2022 estimate, it is the world’s 17th largest economy by nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 7th in terms of GDP at PPP (Purchasing Power Parity), estimated to be US$1,289 trillion and US$4,023 trillion, respectively.
“We would like to see how we can collaborate with those countries and to see how we can share our experiences on the down stream industries because down stream industry helps, basically, to create job opportunities for the people of the country, like in Indonesia, we created about a million jobs because of down stream industries on nickel ore, bauxite, tin, palm oil and some others.
“Here also you have so much potential in mining and agriculture to create a million of jobs. This is so beautiful because this country, Zimbabwe, is a very rich country and the spirit of President ED is very good and he also agreed to join South-South cooperation on forestry and critical mining.
“The other thing is that President Joko Widodo has planned to visit Zimbabwe in the near future, very soon, maybe in July or September this year. We will see the schedule and hopefully before that we will see President ED also visit Indonesia,” he said.
Minister Panjaitan said they had also agreed during the meeting, to establish a taskforce to ensure implementation of projects identified for cooperation between the two countries.
Soon after meeting the President, the Indonesian Minister also paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda where he reiterated the need for the two countries to boost economic ties and how Parliament can play a role through enacting legislation that support collaboration between developing countries under the South-South cooperation.