India, Zimbabwe to enhance ties in pharma, infra, health

India and Zimbabwe have decided to enhance cooperation in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and health to boost trade and investment between the countries.

This was agreed during a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma with Zimbabwe Vice President Joice T R Mujuru and Industry and Commerce Minister Michael Bimha in Harare yesterday, an official statement issued here today said.

Sharma is on an official visit to Harare.

During discussions, it was also decided to speed up implementation of various projects being executed under the India-Africa Forum Summit Programme, including a Food Testing Laboratory (FTL), a Rural Training Park (RTP) and a Vocational Training Centre (VTC).

"India is mulling setting up an FTL in Zimbabwe at an approximate cost of $2 million. India is also in the process of setting up RTP and a VTC," it said.

Besides, Sharma offered organising a special programme to train the Zimbabwean government officials and private sector executives in international trade.

"This training will be organised at the Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute for Foreign Trade, New Delhi," it added.

Further, the Indian minister informed the Zimbabwean side that in addition to Lines of Credit, India is willing to provide assistance under the Buyers' Credit Programme.

Buyers' Credit is a unique programme of Exim Bank, under which the Bank facilitates Indian exports by way of extending credit facility to the overseas buyers for financing their imports from India.

India, in September 2012, approved a LoC worth $28.6 million for up-gradation of Deka Pumping Station and the River Water Intake System in Zimbabwe.

The bilateral trade between the nations stood at $186 million in 2013.

India's main exports to the African country include pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery, electronic goods and plastic. The main items of imports include cotton, metals and spices.

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