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New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Zimbabwe has sought Indian investment and technical assistance to revive its manufacturing sector, especially in the textiles and diamond industry.
The call for assistance came during the India-Zimbabwe Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting held Thursday in Harare. It was co-chaired by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and his Zimbabwean counterpart Welshman Ncube.
"During the JTC meeting, the two sides reviewed the bilateral trade and investment relations and held discussions on cooperation (in) textiles, food Processing, gems and jewellery and industrial cluster initiatives," the commerce ministry said in a statement here.
According to the ministry, lines of credit, capacity building programmes, establishing of a commodity exchange in Zimbabwe also came up for discussion.
"The Zimbabwean side also presented the potential joint venture investment projects from the industrial development corporation of Zimbabwe for consideration of the Indian industry," the statement said.
On the difficulties faced by Indian businessmen in obtaining visas, the Zimbabwean minister said that the issue will be addressed expeditiously.
Sharma also announced India's decision to provide $28.6 million line of credit (LOC) for upgradation of the Deka pumping station and the river water intake system in the country.
Further, Sharma said India was considering two more LOC proposals for the rehabilitation of small thermal power stations -- the Gairezi hydro electric project and the Bulawayo power station upgrade project.
India also agreed to provide assistance in the development of the four industrial clusters under the industrial development policy for diamond, textiles, leather and agro-processing.
Sharma also called upon Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and informed him about various capacity-building programmes, including scholarships and dedicated courses in bamboo craft development and handicrafts run by India.
Sharma briefed Tsvangirai about the lines of credit (LOC) proposals worth $400 million which is being considered and that Zimbabwe could also avail the 'buyers credit scheme' and the 'the pilot scheme of two percent interest subvention' for projects in Zimbabwe.
Currently, Indian investments in Zimbabwe are mainly in mining, pharmaceuticals and agro-processing sectors.