HARARE – Emerging Asian economic giant South Korea is increasing its presence and contribution to Zimbabwe’s economy, the country’s envoy to Harare has said.
Ambassador Lew Kwang-chul said this after paying a courtesy call on the Daily News where he met with senior assistant editor Guthrie Munyuki on Wednesday.
“Koreans are moving in a very visible manner, slowly but surely,” Kwang-chul said. “One of Korea’s biggest industrial conglomerates POSCO (second-biggest-steel making giant in Korea with interests in mining) has opened a social and training centre on the outskirts of Chitungwiza.
“The centre caters for a 100 children and we provide everything including education. The people there are clamouring for more because of the success of the social centre.”
He said the centre in Chitungwiza will also be home to an agricultural machinery training college that will be opened soon.
“We will provide 80 experts to the training centre and all the amenities are now in place. Our government is always finding ways to boost trade with Zimbabwe and through Korea International Cooperative Agency (Koica) which is the government agency in charge of aid. We constantly take many Zimbabweans to Korea to acquire expertise in different fields for the benefit of the local economy,” he said.
According to the ambassador, the South Koreans are also installing solar water heating system at the Harare Institute of Technology and will install another at a selected hospital in Bulawayo.
“Last year representatives of power utility Zesa Holdings (Zesa)visited South Korea and held a series of meetings with different stakeholders in the energy sector there. Although nothing concrete has come at the moment, indications are that we might conclude cooperation deals soon and Korean companies have begun to participate in Zesa tenders as we speak,” said Kawng-chul.
He said delays on the Zimbabwean side have also stalled progress in this regard.
Korea realises a massive $1,1 trillion from exports mainly in technology and other goods and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at 1,2 trillion, according to the ambassador.