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Speeches of Ambassador

Ambassador's remarks on the ON THE OCCASION OF EXPANSION OF VARUN BEVERAGES PLANT on 06.10.2021

H.E. E.D. Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,

Hon'ble Oppah Muchinguri- Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs,

Hon’ble Sikai Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce,   

Mr. Ravi Jaipuria, Chairman, RJ Corp,  

Senior Officials from the Government of Zimbabwe and Varun Beverages,

Distinguished Guests,   

Ladies and Gentlemen   

It is an honour and privilege to be present here at the inauguration of an additional line of production at M/S Varun Beverages, one of the most important Indian investments in Zimbabwe.  I congratulate Mr. Jaipuria and M/S Varun Beverages for commissioning the new line of production as also planning backward and forward linkages to increase domestic content in the overall production process here in Zimbabwe.  I would also like to take the opportunity to compliment the Government of Zimbabwe for providing a conducive atmosphere for carrying out business, as a result of which M/S Varun Beverages are able to realize their expansion plans. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the commissioning of an additional line as a third phase of investment comes at a time when many businesses all over the world are facing challenges due to falling incomes and lockdowns owing to Covid-19 pandemic.  Businesses in general the world over are rethinking their strategies, are keeping the expansion plans on hold and are laying off employees to keep afloat.  However, M/S Varun Beverages have shown by example that it is possible to grow and expand provided there are solid plans backed by an effective leadership and implementation. 

M/S Varun Beverages is also an example of a successful trilateral venture involving the products of an American MNC being manufactured in Zimbabwe by an Indian company.  It is an example of human ingenuity and innovative business model whereby M/S Varun Beverages have also empowered those at the bottom of the value chain.  It is also an example that Zimbabwe welcomes businesses and is ready to provide a conducive environment.     

Friends, Indian investments in Zimbabwe have had a long and continuous presence in Zimbabwe.  Indian investments in Zimbabwe are valued in the vicinity of US$ 500 million.  They provide direct employment to around 5000 Zimbabwean nationals.  Though these are rather conservative estimates, what is important is that the trade and investment relationship is growing.  Our two economies are also poised to grow at a rapid pace and there are complementarities which can be leveraged further.  

The friendly relationship between India and Zimbabwe is based on mutual respect and trust.  Our two countries go a long way in not just political and economic relationship but also in the areas of developmental cooperation and people to people contacts involving health, education, energy, science & technology and a number of other sectors.   We are cooperating very closely at the multilateral fora too.  During the ongoing pandemic, India provided 1000 MT of rice, medicines worth over US$ 1 million, ambulances and vaccines.  Recently, we have contributed US$ 1 million through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund for climate resilient agriculture in the districts of Chiredzi and Mangwe.  This is expected to benefit over 5000 small farmers.    

During the visit of Hon’ble Vice President in November 2018, a number of Memorandum of Understanding were signed.  Government of India pledged developmental aid of the order of US $ 500 million.  These projects are at various stages of implementation and we are keen to further fast-track these to make up for the time lost during the pandemic last year.   

I believe that the commissioning of M/S Varun Beverages lines will bring more effervescent and vivaciousness to the bilateral relationship.   

With best wishes once again to M/S Varun Beverages and the Government of Zimbabwe.   

Thank you 

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