Leading global courier company DHL is seeking to renew its operating licence in the country which expires after every 10 years while expressing interest in investing more into the country provided the indigenisation quota issue is clarified, a cabinet minister has said.
The company with about 37 years of presence in Zimbabwe intends to renew its license which expired.
By Kudakwashe Pembere and David Zvina
Addressing journalists this morning after a closed door meeting with the German Ambassador to Zimbabwe, a DHL executive, Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe officials, ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said DHL wanted to find out matters to do with their license renewal and indigenisation.
“They have had issues regarding renewal of their licence and they needed clarity in terms of commitments to indigenisation. But more importantly to the expectation of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Act that requires that any licensed operator has 51 percent in local hands.
“And Im very glad to say that because of the clarity his excellency has put forward regarding ownership, particularly in the services industry, investment in service industry that it is not as cast in stone as investment in natural resources sector like mining where 51 percent is mandatory for locals and non-negotiable.
“In the services sector if the company like DHL commits to investing in the community in the people of Zimbabwe outside its main business there are provisions that allow us as the Ministry and as the regulator to give them more leeway to hold on to some shares but put in some more investment,” he said.
“We’ve had a very positive meeting regarding future investments by DHL in Zimbabwe.As you are aware DHL has been in the country since 1980. It’s the largest courier company in the world and they have interests to continue investing in this country in the future probably what is was back in the 1980s having Zimbabwe or Harare as the main hub for their regional business out of the Sadc region.
“So Im very excited by Mr Hattaway who was coming from Dubai who has committed and said that DHL is committed to put more investment once they are sure that our commitment in terms of their ownership and regulatory approval is in place.
“So we are excited that we are still attractive to German investment. I was just mentioning in the meeting that when you have a company like DHL intending to expand and increase its investment in the country it’s good for the people that it will employ, the infrastructure that it will build for the image of the country that we are attracting investment,” said Mandiwanzira.
He also said when companies like DHL express interest to continue investing in Zimbabwe, it shows the country is a safe haven for investors.
“More importantly, a lot of companies when they are investing in Zimbabwe, they look at what is the transport logistics infrastructure that is in place. When you have DHL flying into the country, DHL servicing the country they get more comfortable that it is a destination for investment and Im very glad we are making this kind of progress with DHL,” said the Minister.
“We are considering in early stages of how DHL can invest in Zimbabwe, increase our invest in Zimbabwe and we can facilitate greater trade for Zimbabwe with the rest of the world for Zimbabwean businesses and likewise how we can create jobs and businesses here in Zimbabwe.
“With that in mind we look forward to a formal proposal that we will submit to you and to future next steps. And hopefully in years to come or sooner we look forward to come back with tangible results to share with everyone,” he said.
The German Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Thornsten Hutter said the meeting was about exploring opportunities for increased investments by DHL.
“We had a meeting here with the delegation of a German company DHL which has been working in Zimbabwe since 1980 since independence and we have now discussed the question of future investment of DHL in Zimbabwe to grow the business, to create jobs and to be a good corporate citizen in this country.”