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BEIJING-- Zimbabwe government officials have met executives from a number of international banks in Beijing on the sidelines of the 3rd Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) held here this week summit to persuade them to extend lines of credit to Zimbabwean companies to retool and increase production for export, says Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

The Minister said here Tuesday that he and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya had met the representatives and officials on the sidelines of the FOCAC summit which ended here Tuesday.

"So far we have met officials from the Industrial Development Bank of China, Afrexim Bank (Africa Export-Import Bank), they are based in Egypt but they are here," he said. "We are trying and hoping to put together a package with Chinese financial institutions to support us through granting us lines of credit."

Chinamasa said they were discussing credit lines of between two and three billion US dollars and the negotiations would continue on Wednesday. "We have met them today. We are going to meet them again tomorrow," he said, adding: "As for the outcome we will see."

He said when the country restricted imports to support domestic industries to revive operations and re-tool, it worked and local companies were resuscitated. However, he added, the companies were not exporting, meaning that they were only import-substituting.

"But they have increased demand on foreign currencies," Chinamasa said. "So we need more foreign currency than ever before,"

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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