Zimbabwe asks the US to remind its banks that sanctions have been lifted and it is “open” to business

Zimbabwe asks the US to remind its banks that sanctions have been lifted and it is "open" to business

April 21 (EUROPA PRESS) –

Zimbabwean authorities have asked the US Treasury Department to remind banks that Washington has recently relaxed some of its sanctions against the African country and has signaled its willingness to establish new business relationships.

“We have asked the US Treasury to issue a note warning US banks that they have lifted sanctions and that Zimbabwe is open for business,” said Zimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in statements to the press reported. by Bloomberg.

The request was formalized during a meeting between Zimbabwean officials and representatives of the United States Treasury Department, where a delegation from the African country has traveled to attend the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The US government updated its sanctions program in March, saying US entities could re-examine their stance on Zimbabwe, although it did apply sanctions to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other senior officials.

For its part, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has estimated that it has lost at least 100 correspondent banking relationships in the last two decades due to the country's high risk perception as a result of the aforementioned sanctions.

“The focus is mainly on the US dollar, where it is difficult to reach direct compensation agreements with US banks,” according to the president of the Zimbabwe Bankers Association, Lawrence Nyazema.

Nyazema has noted, as mentioned by Bloomberg, that lenders in the southern African country have several correspondent banks in different currencies and that “most banks clear US dollars through other, stronger banks in South Africa and elsewhere.” “.

This request comes after the United States Executive announced in early March sanctions against eleven senior Zimbabwean officials, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and three entities upon confirming that “serious rights abuses continued to be committed in the African country.” political, economic and human”.

The sanctions announced mainly involved the freezing of all assets that individuals and entities may have under the sovereignty of the United States, as well as travel bans.

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