By Kudakwashe Pembere
LEADING global technology company Samsung Electronics has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Zimbabwean indigenous company, Lines Products and Services, which will see the two parties providing business to business and business to Government solutions to the country.
Samsung has been in Zimbabwe since 2011 as a retailer for technological gadgets ranging from television sets to mobile phones.
Speaking after the MoU signing ceremony in Harare yesterday, LPS chairman Mr Cleo Mathabire said that they have been courting Samsung for more than five years.
“Samsung has signed a deal with us which will see their kits assembled here in Zimbabwe after a long time of negotiations with them.
“Traditionally, we used to import Samsung products from South Africa and Dubai where resellers could put a mark-up of their own which is too high for the consumers
“The plant we are planning to set up will see a lot of jobs created and cheaper products for the Zimbabweans even those who survive on a dollar a day,” he said.
Mr Mathabire added that the Samsung products will be availed to retailers by LPS and will be locally repaired by local technicians.
The LPS boss noted how Samsung products are being smuggled into the country without contributing to the fiscus.
He assured that this deal with Samsung will see taxes being paid and money trickling into the fiscus.
Mr Mathabire also said that they agreed with Samsung that LPS will be investing 40 percent with the global technology giant contributing 60 percent for the setting up of the plant.
He said the plant will not cost much more than US$4 million as there is a lot of industrial underutilisation. Mr Ma- thabire said they are discussing whether to use the white elephant industries or look for a location and set up the plant.
He added that Samsung will be providing the technology and expertise while LPS will be providing the infrastructure and labour needed.
Mr Mathabire also said that there will be a Smart government forum in February next year where they will be discussing with all Government officials on the way forward on implementing B2G solutions.
Samsung Southern Africa information and technology business leader Mr Nelo Neves said that under the B2G solutions they are willing to engage Government and said that the business conditions are now viable to start their operations in the country.
Samsung Zimbabwe manager Mr Gavin Clare lauded the development saying that the Samsung is upbeat about investing in the country.
“Samsung has been a frequent visitor in the country and has been investing in retail asset for the last three years. This is just a business channel diversification,” he said.
Samsung has been facing challenges in penetrating the Zimbabwean market due to the influx of fake imitations being brought into the country from Dubai and other countries.