DOHA– Zimbabwe and Qatar have agreed to expeditiously negotiate and conclude agreements to mutually protect future investments and to avoid double taxation, says Zimbabwe’s Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa.

Speaking to journalists here Monday after a meeting between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chinamasa said the two countries agreed to pursue the agreements immediately.

“We have agreed that we negotiate and conclude a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement. We have also agreed to negotiate and conclude an avoidance of of double taxation agreement. These are matters we are going to pursue more immediately,” he said.

Chinamasa and his Qatari counterpart signed a co-operation agreement at the same event.

“As you may know, His Excellency President Mnangagwa has had a meeting with His Royal Highness. I was able to sign an economic and social technical agreement with my counterpart. We also have bilateral meetings which are going on and we are focusing on economic co-operation,” he said.

Chinamasa said Qatar and Zimbabwe were still trying to identify other areas of possible co-operation. “At the moment, we are trying to identify areas of co-operation and we are looking at power generation which could include gas or coal or hydro, infrastructure and tourism,” he said.

“Those are the areas which we will focus on as we develop the relationship, as this is our first contact with Qatar. Business is about relationships, we have to develop relationships before we can realize the outcomes that we so desire. These are first contacts and I am hopeful and quite optimistic that this first contact will develop into full blown economic relationship,” he said.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said Qatar had shown great interest in Zimbabwe’s energy resources. “They have an appetite for energy resources, which we have. They also have an entity called Mining Investment Corporation which focuses on mining investments in Africa and I am meeting them later,” he said.

President Mnangagwa is in Doha, on an official visit at the invitation of the Qatari leader. Chinamasa said: “This is an invitation we were ready to accept in order to promote the economic recovery of our country.

Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world with a per capita income of 124,927 US dollars. With more than 25 billion barrels in oil reserves and the world’s third largest natural gas reserves, Qatar has also strengthened sectors like manufacturing, construction and financial services.

Zimbabwe has natural gas reserves in Lupane which are waiting to be exploited.