Zimbabwe rejects China's $10bn economy's aid can prop up Mugabe regime

Harare, Feb 2 (ANI): Zimbabwe has rejected concerns that China's move to help the country's ailing economy with a10 billion dollar package can prop up the Robert Mugabe regime.he Zimbabwean government has instead said that Beijing's investment in mining and agriculture could lift up its already crumbling economy.

"We have met with officials from China Development Bank and they have said they are willing to invest up to 10 billion dollars in Zimbabwe," The Guardian quoted Tapiwa Mashakada, a government minister and member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), as saying.

The amount promised is much larger than Zimbabwe's gross domestic product, expected to be about six billion (3.72 billion pounds) this year.

Mashakada, the minister of economic planning and investment promotion, said he expects his country to produce about 1.5 million tonnes of maize in 2011, up from 1.3 millio last year, and gold production to hit 13 tonnes in 2011, up from 8.3 tonnes in 2010.

Zimbabwe also has the world's second biggest platinum reserves and hugely controversial deposits of alluvial diamonds.

China is "looking into mining development, that is exploration and exploitation, agriculture, infrastructure development and information communication technology", Mashakada said.

"The Chinese are now moving towards strict due diligence, accountability and transparency. At the end of the day this really depends on us, how we position ourselves as a destination for investment. China is coming in a very big way," he added.

China said recently its two-way trade with Africa had increased by nearly 45 percent in a year to hit a record 114.8 billion. Its investment in Zimbabwe has been growing steadily over the last decade. (ANI)

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