The Look East Policy
Confronted with these numerous challenges resulting from the sanctions, the Government of Zimbabwe adopted the LOOK EAST POLICY. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been on the forefront to implement this policy, guided by the Government’s Policy, Vision and Strategy documents designed to increase Zimbabwe’s cooperation with a number of countries in Asia and the Far East.
The Visions and Strategies provide guidelines on the thrust of Zimbabwe’s co-operation and prioritise projects in which a co-operating country has expressed interest, projects in which Zimbabwe has comparative advantage, projects that are ready for implementation, projects that will promote exports, joint ventures and projects meant to assist in the re-capitalization of distressed public enterprises.
Consequently, a deliberate decision was made to initially focus on China, Iran, Indonesia, India and Malaysia in effecting the above policy, hence broadening the scope of Zimbabwe,s foreign policy.
However, in international relations, and therefore in the pursuit of a country’s Foreign Policy, there is an unwritten understanding that there are no permanent friends or enemies, but permanent interests. Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy therefore, strives to foster long-standing relationships of mutual co-operation and trust.
It must also be noted that advancing Zimbabwe’s national interests is not a task for the Government alone, let alone the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but for all Zimbabweans. It requires dialogue and understanding among Government, business and the rest of the community. If Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy is to succeed, it must aim to mobilize the understanding and support of all Zimbabweans.
Every Zimbabwean therefore has a duty to his or her country no matter what differences there may be with the Government of the day. These are supreme national interests, which must be defended by all and at all times. The country’s image must not be sullied in return for short-term gains. These are the fundamentals that all patriotic Zimbabweans should defend as a matter of course.
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