Chinese Prime Minister Vice Premier Wang Qishan said Monday that Beijing will extend US$700 million credit to Zimbabwe to support agriculture and health.
Vice President Joice Mujuru said the funds will be directed to high-priority farming projects and to health care and water systems.
The deal comes as an International Monetary Fund delegation continued consultations with the Harare government and financial institutions. One of the topics under discussion is the management of the country’s US$7 billion external debt.
With President Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF threatening to seize foreign companies in the name of black empowerment or in reprisal for Western sanctions, the Chinese leader expressed the hope that Chinese enterprises would be protected from takeovers.
Economist John Mufukari noted that Beijing is expanding its economic role in Zimbabwe at a time when many other countries are hesitating due to perceived political risk.