World

Zimbabwean president calls for economic investment, but will not budge on local control

  • Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, left, and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, right, arrive for a welcoming ceremony at the government's Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Mugabe is on a two-day state visit to the country. At rear are their wives, Grace Mugabe, left,  and Thobeka Zuma. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, left, and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, right, arrive for a welcoming ceremony at the government's Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Mugabe is on a two-day state visit to the country. At rear are their wives, Grace Mugabe, left, and Thobeka Zuma. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

  • Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, left, and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, right, arrive for a welcoming ceremony at the government's Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Mugabe is on a two-day state visit to the country. At rear are their wives, Grace Mugabe, left,  and Thobeka Zuma. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, left, and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, right, arrive for a welcoming ceremony at the government's Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April. 8, 2015. Mugabe is on a two-day state visit to the country. At rear are their wives, Grace Mugabe, left, and Thobeka Zuma. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

  • Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, second from and left, and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, second from right, arrive for a welcoming ceremony at the government's Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Mugabe is on a two-day state visit to the country. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

    Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, second from and left, and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, second from right, arrive for a welcoming ceremony at the government's Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Mugabe is on a two-day state visit to the country. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)  (The Associated Press)

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe encouraged South African investment to his country, especially in the mining sector, but insisted that foreign investments must not have controlling interests in Zimbabwean companies.

Mugabe was speaking with South African President Jacob Zuma at a press conference on Wednesday in Pretoria during his state visit to South Africa.

Although Mugabe said he would welcome increased economic cooperation between the two southern African neighbors, he defended his government's indigenization policy which demands that foreign companies cede 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans. The policy is widely blamed for frightening away foreign investors.

This is Mugabe's first state visit to South Africa since 1994.

A Zimbabwean civic group, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said Mugabe's visit comes as Zimbabwe faces a political and economic crisis.