( dpa )- Cash-starved Zimbabwe soaked up 7.8 billion US dollars in foreign investment last year with China as the biggest investor, state media announced Sunday.
The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) approved 98 projects in the agricultural, manufacturing, tourism and mining sectors, said the Sunday Mail newspaper.
Manufacturing projects were worth 3.5 billion US, while the value of the 20 mining projects approved totalled 2.5 billion. Most of the projects are partnerships between local and foreign investors. Exact investment figures for China were not given.
"The investment trend shows a strong appetite driven by an economic growth spur from the Asian subcontinent," said the Sunday Mail.
As Zimbabwe's economic crisis deepens, President Robert Mugabe has urged companies and businessmen to turn away from traditional Western investment partners and look east to Asia and in particular China, the country the longtime ruler calls Zimbabwe's "all-weather friend."