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Diplomats representing Zimbabwe across the world are guided by the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation in their discussions with host countries and potential investors, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has said.

He said while in the past political and diplomatic interests dominated relations among countries, economic issues were now paramount.

Minister Mumbengegwi made the remarks in Senate yesterday while responding to a question from Zanu-PF Mashonaland West Senator Mike Musaka, who sought to know what diplomats were doing to fundraise for Zim-Asset.

He said copies of the economic blueprint had been distributed to all the country’s diplomatic missions.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in its capacity as the co-ordinator of the multifaceted relations between Zimbabwe and other countries and organisations, works to strengthen the existing political, economic, social and diplomatic relations with all countries, regional and international organisations,” Minister Mumbengegwi said.

He said the Foreign Affairs brief worked closely with other ministries and all economic sectors to interact with the rest of the world.

“In all this, our ambassadors and their embassies play a key and critical role. They are our eyes and ears.

“Not only are they reliable listening posts, they are also indispensable operational posts greatly contributing to the actualisation of our economic diplomacy.”

Minister Mumbengegwi said Zimbabwe had entered many joint commissions on economic and technical co-operation and had good relations with most nations.

He said Zimbabwe would continue to engage the West on unconditional removal of their illegal sanctions on the country as they impacted negatively on the economy and citizens’ livelihoods.

Zimbabwe requires US$27 billion to fund Zim-Asset, whose four key pillars are Food Security and Nutrition, Social Services and Poverty Eradication, Infrastructure and Utilities, and Value Addition and Beneficiation.

Some countries, such as China, have already indicated their intention to help fund Zim-Asset.

Source : The Herald