Business interests take upper hand


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Zimbabwe’s commercial interests are increasingly taking the upper hand over ideological ones. The country which once refused to recognise South Korea or Taiwan recently entertained a South Korean delegation which is reported to have secured export orders worth $10 million and conducted some market research for Korean companies. The South Korean delegation laid the ground work for the establishment of official relations so that joint ventures can be arranged.

Taiwan was allowed to exhibit at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair for the first time this year and it appears to have generated a lot of interest since one of the major toll manufacturing companies in the country already has links with a Taiwanese company.

South Korea, together with Japan, is considered one of the most economically successfully countries of the century and has risen from Third World status to one of the newly industrialised countries. Zimbabwe could follow the same path if it abandons its political ideologies, some economists argue.

South Korea’s economic success was due to its opposition to hiring and firing of people and centralised planning, economists say. For example, it was only in 1987 that South Korea allowed a third company to assemble vehicles. Another reason for its success, these economists argue, is its work-ethic and managerial culture.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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