GBC Builds Business Bridge Between Zimbabwe and Guangdong

On 11 June 2024, a meeting between the Guangdong Hakka Association and Affirmative Action Group (AAG) of Zimbabwe took place in Guangzhou to explore business opportunities in Zimbabwe. The meeting was arranged under the auspices of Mr Aaron Kwang POON, Chair of the Global Business Council.

In order for the Guangdong side to better appreciate the potentialities of economic links between Zimbabwe and China, Mr Aaron Kwang POON shared some success stories which he picked up during his missions in Zimbabwe as a preview to the meeting.

“Pretty much every puff of Zhonghua cigarette bears a taste Zimbabwe, and almost every EV made in China incorporates lithium from Zimbabwe.”

Aaron Kwang POON, Chair GBC
GBC Chair Aaron Kwang POON and Zimbabwean Minister of Mines Winston Chitando
GBC Chair Aaron Kwang POON and Zimbabwean Minister of Mines Winston Chitando

During the meeting, Mr Alfred Tawanda DOZVA, spokesperson and strategist of AAG, first introduced his organisation by highlighting that it operates under the Department of Development and Empowerment of ZANU-PF, which is the political party running Zimbabwe since its independence. The mandate of AAG is to direct economic development and enhance empowerment under the supervision of ZANU-PF.

He echoed and elaborated on the mantra of President Mnangagwa that “Zimbabwe is open for business.” Then, he went on to highlight some salient points from Development Strategy 2021-2025 and Vision 2030 National Development Plan (#NDP) of Zimbabwe.

During his exposé, he pointed out the opportunities in the mining, agriculture and energy sectors. In particular, Zimbabwe has proven reserves of #CriticalMinerals and is currently ranked as the top #lithium producer in Africa.

Meeting Between Guangdong Hakka Association and Affirmative Action Group of Zimbabwe

Subsequently, Mr ZHONG Wendong, Executive Chair and Secretary-General of the Guangdong Hakka Association introduced his organisation. Hakkas can be found all over the world, but the Hakka entrepreneurs in Guangdong province are particularly dynamic. Via the Guangdong-Zimbabwe link, he hopes the Hakka businessmen will be able to learn more about and take advantage of the business opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Currently, China is the largest #EV market in the world and Guangdong is home to several automakers, such as Build Your Dreams (BYD) Vehicles, Guangzhou Automobile Company (GAC), XPeng and others. While delving on this subject, it is perhaps worth noting that BYD recently surpassed Tesla in EV sales globally.

Mr Dozva proposed to organize a China-Zimbabwe Business Forum in Guangzhou. He recalled the Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube led a delegation to China in March 2024 and toured Beijing and Shanghai. Guangdong, being the economic powerhouse of China, cannot be omitted from such business promotion activities.

He also welcomed Chinese businessmen to visit Zimbabwe in order to better assess the situation on the ground. As the 9th #FOCAC Summit is scheduled to take place in Beijing in September 2024, it would perhaps be opportune for both sides to consider a deal-signing ceremony on the sidelines of the Summit, assuming any deal is concluded by then.

As the relationship between Zimbabwe and Guangdong deepens, the Government of Zimbabwe could contemplate opening a Consular Office in Guangzhou in support of strengthening the ties.