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Zimbabwean firms cut $3m deals in DRC

 Zimbabwean resources companies have cut deals worth $3 million-plus with DRC corporations after participating at a mining exhibition in the central African country.

The firms are working with large mining corporations such as Ivanhoe Mines, Kibali Gold Mine, Gecamines and Tenke Fungurume — whose mine holds one of the world’s largest known copper and cobalt reserves.

The Joseph Kabila-led country is notorious for being risky and logistically challenging, but has huge potential.

“In spite of its reputation for instability and pandemic diseases especially Ebola, the DRC is attracting a lot of foreign nationals who see great business potential in the country,” Zimtrade’s acting export promotion manager, Renwick Wachenyuka, said.

He added: “During our visit to Lubumbashi, at no time did we feel unsafe and the Zimbabweans in attendance identified some great business opportunities.”

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Apart from the Trade Show — held in Lubumbashi last month, participating companies also toured Ivanhoe Mine and also established contact with high profile DRC mining executives.

“…DRC has a lot of potential we can tap into…we look forward to doing business there,” said Michael Sullivan, director of Zimbabwe Valves.

In 2016, Zimtrade conducted a market survey in the DRC and discovered good potential for trade between Zimbabwe and the central African nation.

With a population of approximately 84 million, untapped resources, and prospects for growth in areas such as agriculture, mining, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, engineering and tourism, DRC proves to be a lucrative market for Zimbabwean businesses.

Zimbabwe and the DRC currently enjoy good political relations.

Furthermore, both countries share common membership in Sadc and the Comesa, which ensure favourable trading conditions for companies in both nations. — The Financial Gazette