Ambassador Catriona Laing launched the training at a ceremony in Harare today.
I am delighted to be here this morning to launch the Public Private Partnership (PPP) training that has attracted key stakeholders from various sectors of the economy.
This training, led by the British Expertise International, forms part of a wider Southern Africa regional capacity building programme, funded by the UK, which will benefit Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This PPP training marks another milestone in UK’s confidence building measures with regards to strengthening UK-Zimbabwe economic ties.
The British Government is keen to promote UK-Zimbabwe trade for the benefit of both countries and it is my sincere hope that some of the outcomes of this training will include:
Increasing knowledge and understanding of PPP’s and help promote a more predictable business environment in Zimbabwe for UK and other foreign investors.
Enhancing Zimbabwe’s capacity in the use of PPP’s to reduce Zimbabwe market access barriers thus creating a conducive environment to unlock stagnated infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe whilst promoting exports of UK’s technical expertise.
I would like to thank British Expertise International, represented by Malcolm Dowden here today, for providing technical expertise and support to help strengthen UK-Zimbabwe bilateral trade relations.
Last October, a UK Government initiated trade delegation led by British Expertise International visited Zimbabwe. In February a high profile investor delegation visited Zimbabwe too.
Both delegations left optimistic about the great potential that exists here with the right reforms and an improved political and policy environment.
I’d like to thank the Minister of Finance, Honourable Patrick Chinamasa, and his Ministry, for the positive engagement and cooperation that they have provided to facilitate the investors missions and today’s training.
I hope barriers between the public and private sectors will be unblocked and help create a funding mechanism for key national projects.
As I said earlier, the British Government is keen to promote UK-Zimbabwe trade. I’d like to mention some steps the British Government is undertaking to promote the economic growth in Zimbabwe that support the confidence building measures.
Through UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the UK is supporting inclusive economic growth.
By this, we mean growth that creates employment across society, so that as many people benefit as possible. DFID are doing this by providing the infrastructure, assets, finance, skills and access to markets needed, so that people can earn enough to meet their basic needs. For example:
Their £4.9 million 3 year Business Enabling Environment Programme (BEEP), that supports improvement to the business environment through investment climate reform and public-private dialogue.
Its 4 year £16m Pro-Poor Growth Programme to tackle the critical shortage of credit facing the Zimbabwean people. This programme is providing access to finance for small, medium and large businesses and microfinance institutions with a focus on the agricultural sector.
The DFID Livelihoods and Food Security Programme seek to address the underlying causes of food insecurity for the rural poor in a long term and sustainable manner. This is achieved by improving the ability of smallholder farmers to increase food production and to develop markets that farmers can sell their produce.
Finally, I wish to reiterate that the UK Government remains committed to supporting the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe for a more stable and prosperous Zimbabwe.