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Boost for NRZ as Indonesia sets sight on their project

A representative of the Indonesian embassy in Zimbabwe, Rahma Mardina, told the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) special bulletin that they were interested in clinching a deal with the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).

Southeast Asian nation, Indonesia, seeks to clinch deals in Zimbabwe’s various economic sectors such as pharmaceuticals, rubber and the railways, an official has said.

“We are interested in the transportation field by proposing the revitalisation of the railroad with NRZ to fulfill the market needs in Zimbabwe, especially and or regional market as a whole. On our part we also have a range of products for Zimbabwe,” she said.

“These include rubber, coffee, pharmaceutical products, palm sugar, red brick machines, transportation aircraft, electric motors with friendly energy, locomotives, concrete and solar panels.”

NRZ, which recently signed a memorandum of understanding with a Turkish construction firm Yapi Merkezi, is struggling to keep afloat due to obsolete equipment, among other challenges.

The NRZ requires about US$1,9 billion to recapitalise its operations. It needs to rehabilitate its track, acquire locomotives, wagons and upgrade information communication technology to enable the parastatal to increase freight volumes.

In 2019, the government cancelled a US$400 million NRZ recapitalisation programme signed two years ago with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group after the group reportedly “failed” to comply with contractual timelines.

Mardina said due to the Covid-19 pandemic and tight health protocol, they did not bring products and services physically to ZITF this year. She said they will make use of catalogues and company profiles to engage with visitors at ZITF.

Mardina also said they were confident that the exhibition would open up business opportunities even after the show itself. “Although many consumers come just to look around, there will be hundreds of others who come for the specific purposes of buying our products or using our services,” she said.

“As for Zimbabwe itself, ZITF is an annual event known internationally to bring together Zimbabwean enterprises and to introduce their products to the next level. That way we can estimate what strategies are needed to be able to further develop the business that we have to offer. We are here to provide opportunities to Zimbabwean businesses to develop new markets and strengthen technology usage by collaborating with the local companies.”

She said the exhibition made economies around the world seek new opportunities to manage systemic challenges, and ways to better rebuild and improve trade and economic ties.

“Therefore, Indonesia will adjust by embracing technologies. We will encourage and invite entrepreneurs to participate as much as possible in every trade opportunity that will mutually benefit each other by doing hybrid or virtual business meetings,” she said.

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