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Zimbabwe Abandons 'Look East' Economic Policy, Seeks FDI

The Zimbabwean government is abandoning the "Look East" international economic strategy enunciated by President Robert Mugabe several years ago in response to Western sanctions, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said on Wednesday.

Instead Harare will seek foreign direct investment from the private sector, Mutambara told journalists in releasing a report on public-private partnerships for development based on a workshop on the investment approach held recently in the capital.

Faced with Western sanctions introduced early this decade, President Mugabe looked to China and other Asian countries for commercial ties and aid leading to an expansion of the Chinese economic presence in the country but to little apparent effect on the sinking economy.

He said the country would look neither east nor west but in all directions for potential investment partners to help revive the shattered economy.

"Look west, look east, look north, look south, and look at yourself," Mutambara declared at a news conference called to launch the report on the workshop. "That is the paradigm shift we are pushing in this government. For us to survive under globalization we must look everywhere for opportunity."

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

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