ZTE CORPORATION, a global leader in telecommunications and information technology is pushing to expand into key investment opportunities in Zimbabwe with its president holding high level meetings with Government this week. The group’s global CEO Zhao Xianming yesterday met Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira to assess the investment policies and opportunities in the country. Forbes says as at May 2017, ZTE Corporation market capitalisation reached $9,9 billion with turnover of around $15,08 billion.
With the industry’s most comprehensive product range and end-to-end solutions, ZTE is involved in the provision of cutting-edge wireless, access and bearer, value-added services, terminals and managed services to telecommunications carriers, in addition to ICT solutions for enterprises and Government agencies. Minister Mandiwanzira said this was a “huge visit in its form because if you consider that this a big company operating globally and their president visiting Zimbabwe where everybody particularly the locals think that there are no opportunities”.
“It might actually change our mindset to say that there must be something that we are not seeing in our country as Zimbabweans that is being seen by some other people,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.
“We are encouraged that we have such high level visit by a global company looking at more investment in our country and I must say that two months ago I also welcomed the rotating CEO of Huawei so you can see that there is a lot of interest in our country by global companies that are in the ICT space. We must be encouraged that we have a big delegation from ZTE as well looking at further investment opportunities in our country.”
He said Zimbabwe was full of investment opportunities.
“We are a country that is very different from other countries on the African continent especially looking at the ICT or telecommunications space. Our mobile penetration is one of the highest on the African continent. We are currently sitting on mobile penetration of around 95 percent, active penetration but penetration is over 105 percent. What this means is that the uptake of ICT technologies is actually very high which gives opportunities to investors, to companies such as ZTE to identify space in our economy where they can participate,” he said.
He also spoke of Zimbabwe’s geographical position in the sub-Saharan Africa which gives access to a market of around 400 million people.
“With all these opportunities, I would like to encourage ZTE to take a very positive approach in terms of the opportunities available. We are committed as Government to work with any company. We are happy to host them as a Ministry to encourage them to look at opportunities we have and also to look at possibilities of investing in the Special Economic Zones were a very specific area has been reserved for ICT investments,” he added.
The Minister said one of the issues under discussion related to the multi-vendor policy, which means that a network should not rely on one supplier and build business on the basis of one technical supplier or one vendor.
“They will compete in terms of quality, price and service and at the end the day the beneficiary in terms of Government-owned companies is Government, because it makes profit, but more importantly, the beneficiaries are the consumers, the people of Zimbabwe who will actually be using the services of the networks,” said Minister Mandiwanzira.
ZTE chief operating officer Huang Dabin said the group has its eyes on both Government-owned and private sector companies for partnerships despite the challenges the country is going through.
“We understand you have some challenges in your economy and we are saying that it’s just a short time we believe you will find a way to solve your problems and move forward. We are looking at opportunities in the fibre optic and the whole ICT industry and to also invest in the 4G and 5G network,” said Mr Huang.