Happiness Zengeni, recently in Zurich, Switzerland
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa last Thursday met several high profile business people in Zurich, Switzerland, and took the opportunity to apprise them of Zimbabwe’s compelling business and investment story.
The meeting in Zurich, his last engagement after attending the 48th edition of the World Economic Forum, was attended by an array of reputable global investors who were keen to hear, first hand, the President pronounce his vision for a new Zimbabwe after years of pariah status.
President Mnangagwa’s attendance of the WEF was the first time that the country has ever been represented by a Head of State. Investors at the meeting were keenly interested in knowing the abundant investment opportunities Zimbabwe presented and what the Government was doing to support investors willing to invest in the country.
Among the top global investors who attended the Zurich meeting was global investor, Mr Urs Schwarzenbach, a UK-based Swiss billionaire and financier whose fortune is estimated between $1,5 billion and $2 billion.
Mr Shwarzenbach owns real estate in Switzerland, Scotland, Australia and Morocco among other jurisdictions and since 2001; he has owned the majority of shares of the Zurich luxurious Dolder Grand Hotel.
Also present was Mrs Sabine Dall’Omo, chief executive officer of Siemens. Mrs Dall’Omo also serves as Siemens’ member of the managing board and she has previously served in the company as chief finance officer. She also once was Siemens Africa chief financial officer.
Swiss Re’s Bruce Hodkinson, managing director capital solutions attended the meeting as did Turtle Management senior advisor to the chairman Mr Gunther Vogler.
Glencore Global Head of Oil, Alex Beard, Lonrho Group chief operations officer Bruno Sidler, Swiss Re managing director Bruce Hodkinson, ABB head of Global Relations Tobias Becker and Swiss Africa Business Circle managing director Michael Rheinegger were also among the delegates.
In an interview after the meeting renowned Zimbabwean banker Professor Mthuli Ncube said the country was reengaging the world at the right time. Prof Ncube’s Quantum Global sponsored the meeting.
Prof Ncube is the head of Quantum Global, an investment firm focusing on Africa, research arm. He said the country was reintegrating into global community when the global economy was on an upward trend, especially on commodities. Zimbabwe produces gold and platinum among other key minerals. Prof Ncube said that Zimbabwe had educated people, attribute investors also considered before making the decision to move into a country.
“So as Quantum Global Group we are keen to invest into mining, gold sector in fact all mining activities. We have interests in the forestry sector; we would like to invest in forestry and forestry beneficiation.” He said through his company, they were also interested in the entire soya bean value chain, infrastructure and tourism.
“We also want to invest in infrastructure; we have a lot of experience in building courts and power station; we want to see if we can do something on that area.
“We hear the right sounds from the Government’s side and we will come to look and see what we can do on that side. But it’s important for Zimbabwe to reengage the international community and I hope this is the beginning. However, Dr Ncube said there was need to deal with issues of currency and the liquidity situation,” said Dr Ncube.