Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said it was developing programmes that would offset any spill-over from Zimbabwe's economic crisis.
"... we should not be seen in the light of just the one member state out of 14, [so] that people will use that as a pretext not to invest in our region because one member of the family is 'unacceptable' to them," he told reporters.
"That is unacceptable to us. We are saying we need to be seen in total as a region, instead of the outside world singling out the one member and saying because of member X we will not invest in SADC."
Southern Africa's economies have flourished over the past few years, thanks to soaring commodity prices and growing political stability.
However, Zimbabwe is battling inflation of more than 1 000% and crippling shortages of foreign currency and fuel that are partly a result of its isolation by Western countries in protest against what they call rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe's government.
full story from M&G here