Govt partners Dubai Company 


Source: Govt partners Dubai Company | The Herald

Govt partners Dubai Company

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter

GOVERNMENT has partnered one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, DP World owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as it continues strengthening cooperation in infrastructure development which includes the refurbishment of roads, railways, tolling, airports and inland marine business opportunities.

DP World is a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, via a holding company. This holding company is under the direct control of the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.

It is the largest marine terminal operators in the world, with 50 terminals and 12 new developments across 32 countries.

A Zimbabwean delegation lead by Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Felix Mhona yesterday held a bilateral meeting with the CEO and managing director of DP World for Middle East and Africa, Mr Suhail Al Banna in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Minister Mhona is accompanied by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo; National Railway of Zimbabwe board chairperson Advocate Martin Dinha and NRZ CEO Ms Respina Zinyanduko, among other Government, Embassy and NRZ officials.

Speaking during the meeting, Minister Mhona said the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to supporting and facilitating any partnership between DP World and its parastatals and State Enterprises in infrastructure business, especially railways and the National Handling Services (NHS).

“We are also open to all kind of cooperation in infrastructure development including refurbishment of roads, railways, tolling, airports and our inland marine business opportunities,” he said.He said he appreciated the privilege of meeting Mr Banna at a time when UAE were hosting the 2020 Dubai Expo.

“Indeed, the Dubai Expo has charmed the whole world to the extent that its positive and inspirational economic impact on big and small businesses shall remain perched in the memories of this generation and others to come.

“We treat your invitation to us to tour the DP World Pavilion seriously. Our leader, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa, has given us the greenlight to engage with you on a win-win and mutually beneficial basis, to make good and strengthen the bilateral ties which exist between our two sister countries.

“I am also aware that your invitation is a follow-up to my delegation’s visit to Rwanda from 5 to 10 September 2021, where we were impressed by the good work you have commenced in Rwanda under the auspices of the DP World Kigali dry port superintended by CEO, Mr. Sumert Bhardwaj.

“We are also aware that your foot print as a trusted provider of holistic logistical solutions is not only in Kigali but in all other strategic locations of the world, including in Southern Africa, which makes your signature the much sought after,” Minister Mhona said.

He said the invitation had come at a time when Zimbabwe has opened its economy for business as championed by President Mnangagwa.

The minister said it was his hope that the invitation will be a spring board of further fruitful engagements to come, which shall be shaped by definitive agreements creating business oriented obligations between the two sister countries as trade and investment partners.

He said one of the key pillars and enablers of economic transformation in Zimbabwe was the transport and transport infrastructure sector which was showing a lot of potential at a time government was working on various infrastructural projects such as roads rehabilitation and widening, particularly along the North-South corridor of Beitbridge, Harare, Chirundu and/Victoria Falls.

“We are also working on expansion of our air ports with Victoria Falls expansion project having been commissioned. The Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion project is also at an advanced stage.

“Further, the Beitbridge border post project is almost complete, which dovetails well with the dry port concept which is suitable in either Beitbridge or Rutenga intermodal which links Zimbabwe with Beira, Maputo and Durban,” Minister Mhona said.

He said in view of the foregoing, NRZ is on a massive recapitalisation drive, propelled by a strong business-driven model to expand its operations to meet demand created along the fast growing minerals, agriculture, manufacturing and retail value chains.

He said the need for storage and creation of seamless linkages between storage facilities, source markets and end users is pushing NRZ to be proactive in its approaches.

He said one such initiative which Government has approved is for the NRZ to partner with actors who can set up dry ports around the country.

“Zimbabwe has adopted the dry port concept to be implemented around the country, with NRZ offering great opportunities for the establishment of dry ports along its strategic routes. A case in point is that the NRZ, which is on an accelerated drive to engage partners on its recapitalisation efforts, has targeted to refurbish its former Dry Port at Lion’s Den for storage and strategic logistics handling and shunting of cargo earmarked for export, through the traditional sea routes in Durban, Beira, Maputo and Walvis Bay.

“Movement of cargo along these rail corridors will give a big boost to the NRZ business. National Handling Services (NHS) and the Walvis Bay Dry Port. Further, the Zimbabwe Dry Port in Walvis Bay which was officially opened by the Presidents of Zimbabwe and Namibia on 26 July 2019 in Namibia and other envisaged dry ports in the country such as Mutare and Harare will require capitalisation to ensure their full operationalisation,” he said.

Minister Mhona said the partnership of NHS as well as NRZ with DP World will go a long way in boosting their container and break-bulk handling capacities.

“Services such as bonded warehousing, vehicle storage, freight forwarding, packing/unpacking of containers, stuffing/destuffing of containers and container repair will be upgraded. Our dry port systems are without crucial equipment such as reach stackers, forklifts, reefer electrical plugs and operational vehicles which are a pre-requisite for the ports business.

“We are upbeat that partnership between DP World and the NRZ and the NHS can assist the country in unlocking value as the hub of road and railway infrastructure in Southern Africa,” he said.

Minister Mhona proposed that the DP World officials visit Zimbabwe in the near future for them to appreciate the potential business opportunities in Zimbabwe and at their Dry Port in Walvis Bay, Namibia.