Harare – Industry and Commerce minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu signed a memorandum of understanding on consumer protection and competition laws with Tuesday with the vice minister of State Administration for Market Regulation of China in the capital on Tuesday.
The signing comes amid concerns that certain consignments did not meet certain requirements expected by the ordering parties between the two countries.
Addressing the media soon after the signing ceremony, “Ndlovu said the MOU between the two countries is aimed at addressing consumer complaints, copy rights infringements and ensuring that orders made between the business people of the two countries are compliant in terms of quality and other order specifications.
“The state administration for market regulation was established in April this year and is made up of the state administration of industry and commerce, the China Food and Drug Authority and part of the administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine of China.
“Under the MOU, Zimbabwe and China will develop cooperation in the fields of competition law and consumer protection issues.”
According to the industry minister, going forward Zimbabwe looks to effective cooperation with China in areas of information exchange, joint capacity building programmes, joint research and provision of technical assistance in competition and consumer protection laws.
China–Zimbabwe relations date back to January 1979, during the Rhodesian Bush War. The Soviet Union supported Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union, and supplied them with arms.
Confronted with numerous challenges resulting from the sanctions, the Government of Zimbabwe adopted the Look East Policy.
China’s approach, its policy of not making aid and investments conditional on performance on human rights and good governance, has won China a lot of sympathy across the continent.
Zimbabwe is a case in point; the perceived meddling by western powers drove the regime of long-term President Robert Mugabe to look to the east for much needed investments.
Zimbabweans not only feel that China has the greatest external influence in their country by far, but many of them also approve this: in a 2016 poll, 48 percent said this influence was positive as opposed to 31 percent who perceived it as negative.
Contrary to countries like Mali, where China meets with a 92 percent approval rate, Zimbabweans are divided over whether China or the US offer the best model for development: 25 percent still feel the Americans have better solutions, but a significant 20 percent prefer the Chinese way.
Trade between China and Zimbabwe grew to $1.24 billion last year, double the figure in just four years. China has been Zimbabwe’s top foreign investor for several years.
In 2013, Chinese investment to Zimbabwe topped $600 million, making Zimbabwe one of the top destinations to receive Chinese investment that year.
– Equity Axis News
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