Zim pens five MoUs with South Koreans

07 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Zim pens five MoUs with South Koreans The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce signed an MOU with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on the sidelines of the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul on June 4, 2024. The Chamber was represented by the President, Mike Kamungeremu and Lee Seong Woo, vice president of KCCI.

eBusiness Weekly

  • What’s in an agreement if not implemented?

Hebert Zharare in SEOUL, South Korea

Zimbabwe’s public and private sector organisations signed five memoranda of understanding (MoUs) here on the sidelines of the South Korea – Africa Summit that ended on Wednesday and indications are these agreements will remain on paper if no action is taken by parties on either side to ensure their effective implementation.

The country has been yearning for the elusive Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for some time and with President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra, a number of serious investors have been warming up to the country.

During the two-day South Korea – Africa Summit, Zimbabwe was among many African countries that signed some agreements with the Asian country’s representatives to facilitate cooperation in various sectors of their economies.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Fredrick Shava and his counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in South Korea, Cho Tae-Yul, on Sunday signed the Air Service Agreement on cooperation and assistance.

The air services agreement on cooperation and assistance between Zimbabwe and South Korea, is a deal that will play a crucial role in shaping international aviation policy and fostering cooperation between Zimbabwe and South Korea.

This was followed by another MoU, the Trade and Investment Promotion Framework that Dr Shava and the South Korea Minister of Trade, Inkyo Cheong, signed on Wednesday, whose objectives are also to facilitate trade between the two countries.

Another MoU on cooperation in agriculture (K-Rice) Initiative Programme —Technical Cooperation was signed between the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka and South Korea’s Minister of Agriculture, Ms Song Miryung on Wednesday.

This agreement, that also exist between South Korea and other African countries, entails the Asian country extending technical support including unveiling various hybrid rice seed varities among other things to help the countries grow this staple.

On the private sector side a MoU was signed between the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) on Tuesday, where Mike Kamungeremu and Lee Seong Woo, vice president of KCCI signed on behalf of their respective organisations.

The ZNCC on Wednesday again entered into an agreement with Korea International Trade Association (KITA) where the parties among other things recognised the significance of promoting trade and economic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Zimbabwe.

“Convinced, that enhanced cooperation between the parties will be helpful for the development of mutually beneficial economic relations between our countries and being aware of the importance of establishment of direct contacts between business entities and entrepreneurs of the two countries; have agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding,” reads part of the MoU.

Now the ball is in Zimbabwe’s court to ensure the successful implementation of these agreements because South Korea as a First World country that has leap-frogged its technological advancement over the past decades and yearning for further development, stands ready to work with any African country willing to embrace its business culture.

At least 48 countries were represented in the historic Summit and its abundantly clear South Korea will be willing to dine and wine with first mover African countries that throw proposals on the tables spelling out their working parameters immediately after this Summit.

Speaking to Zimbabwean media while leaving for Russia where he is attending the St Petersburg International Economic Forum running between June 5 and 8, President Mnangagwa said he was impressed by South Korea’s migration to a First World country adding Zimbabwe was angling to achieve at least 60 percent of what the Asian country managed in the next few years.

South Korea, according to latest statics, has a Gross Domestic Product of US$2 trillion, and is ranked 12th globally in terms of development and is home to Samsung, LG, automobile makers such as KIA, Hyundai and Daewoo among other giant tech companies.

The stage has been set for Zimbabwe’s public and private institutions to tap into massive opportunities in South Korea in the area of agriculture, technology, health and pharmaceuticals, tourism, artificial intelligence, automobile manufacturing among other areas.

Zimbabwe Ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador Stewart Nyakotyo was, however, optimistic that the penned agreements would achieve results.

“I am satisfied Zimbabwe has penned the Agreement and MoUs , which we expect to stimulate bilateral cooperation between Zimbabwe and South Korea. The areas of cooperation include agriculture (K- rice belt), mining (value chains and beneficiation) manufacturing, infrastructure, ICT and manpower development, among others.

“The MoU on Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) is primed to promote cooperation in these areas of trade facilitation, small to medium scale industries, investment promotion, supply chains, digital economy, industrial development strategy, logistical supply channel, business environment and facilitation,” he said.

He said the TIPF was a precursor to a more comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement ( EPA), which would deepen cooperation and generate more trade, investment and economic benefits for our country.

Kamungeremu also concurred with Ambassador Nyakotyo, adding the MoU signed between the ZNCC and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), presented several potential opportunities for ZNCC members and Zimbabwean businesses.

He highlighted some of the opportunities that would manifest themselves if the agreements were to be swiftly implemented.

Market access

Through this MoU, Zimbabwean businesses may gain improved access to the South Korean market. This could open up new opportunities for exporting Zimbabwean products and services to South Korea, tapping into a new market for growth.

Trade and investment promotion

The partnership with KITA could facilitate trade and investment promotion activities between Zimbabwe and South Korea. This could involve organising trade missions, business matchmaking events and investment seminars to foster closer economic ties between the two countries.

Technology Transfer and Collaboration

South Korea is known for its advanced technology and innovation. The MoU could pave the way for technology transfer and collaboration between South Korean companies and Zimbabwean businesses, allowing for the exchange of knowledge and expertise.

Capacity building

Collaboration with KITA could also lead to capacity building initiatives for ZNCC members and Zimbabwean businesses. This could involve training programmes, workshops, and seminars to enhance the skills and capabilities of local businesses in various areas such as marketing, e-commerce and international trade.

Networking opportunities

The partnership with KITA could provide ZNCC members with valuable networking opportunities with South Korean businesses and industry leaders. Building relationships with key players in the South Korean market could lead to new business partnerships and collaborations.

Access to information

Through this MuU, ZNCC members and Zimbabwean businesses may gain access to valuable market information, trade data and industry insights related to the South Korean market. This information can help businesses make informed decisions and tailor their strategies to better penetrate the market.

“Overall, the MoU signed between ZNCC and KITA has the potential to create a host of opportunities for ZNCC members and Zimbabwean businesses to expand their reach, foster international partnerships and enhance their competitiveness in the global market. It is important for businesses to actively engage with the opportunities presented by this partnership to maximise its benefits,” he said.

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