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PRESS RELEASE


China Extends Loan and Grant Facilities in Zimbabwe

Dec. 7, 2017 (EIRNS)—In a show of confidence in the new situation in Zimbabwe, China has extended a loan and grants for key development projects. They include a concessionary loan for the upgrade of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare, and grants for the construction of the new Parliament Building and for the High Performance Computing Center being constructed at the University of Zimbabwe for a total of $213 million.

The loan and grants will be administered through the Export-Import Bank of China. Zimbabwe’s Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping signed the deal in Harare yesterday on behalf of the two governments.

The $153 million loan carries a concessionary 2% interest rate and is payable over 20 years with a seven-year grace period. The expansion of the airport aims to double the airport’s capacity from the current 2.5 million passengers per year to 6 million.

"The government of the People’s Republic of China also gave support to the people of Zimbabwe during the liberation struggle," said Minister Chinamasa.

"China is the only source of infrastructure financing. If you look at Kenya, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, their source of funding is China. We look forward to China and we have a lot to know from them. They are second largest economy after United States of America,"

Chinamasa said. He described that the support springs from the state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Dec. 1, 2015, when he pledged to support the construction of the new Parliament building, and that more deals with China were in the offing, according to the Harare Herald.

For his part Ambassador Huang said:

"The Chinese government will continue to support the Zimbabwean government and people in their economic revival and social development. The agreement we have signed today is just a testimony of our efforts and our true friendship that withstands the test of time."

He said China was pleased to be lending financial support to Zimbabwe at "this new juncture of Zimbabwe’s social and economic development."

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has committed his government to correcting the policy inconsistencies that have prevented the Chinese from expanding their investments in the country, especially in infrastructure.