Vietnam’s telecom group Viettel has obtained a license to provide mobile services in the African country of Burundi, one of world’s poorest nations with an average gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of around 200 USD annually, The Saigon Times Daily has reported.

Le Dang Dung, Deputy General Director of Viettel, told the Daily that Burundi has a population of over 10 million, of which around 10 percent use mobile services. Therefore, Viettel has seen an opportunity to invest in the market.

The group is preparing to set up Viettel Burundi Company and expand its business network in the country.

Viettel has seen many investment opportunities in Africa. It has plans to expand its business to three new markets every year, raising revenue from the global market to 20-30 percent of total revenue of the group in 2020, Dung said.

Before entering Burundi, Viettel got the nod to provide services in Timor Leste, Peru, Cameroon, Mozambique, Cambodia, Laos and Haiti.

A source told the Daily that Viettel is seeking business opportunities in Tanzania and Myanmar. In Tanzania, Viettel has plans to acquire a stake in a mobile service company and is waiting for approval.

Viettel failed in the bidding for mobile business licenses in Myanmar last year. It is seeking cooperation opportunities with winning bidders to launch services in the country.

However, the enterprise failed to earn a majority stake of 51 percent as expected during discussion with partners. Viettel considered Myanmar as having the most potential among its overseas markets, the source said.

The telecom group is still seeking opportunities in Cuba, Kenya and other African nations.

Explaining why Viettel is eyeing developing countries, Dung said that the enterprise has the best chance in these markets. In the global market, Viettel has to compete against large telecom groups such as Telenor, France Telecom and Vodafone.

In addition, Viettel is not afraid of a challenge in the poor nations in contrast to large telecom groups who are hesitant at doing business and have little experience in operating in poor nations.

Last year, Viettel obtained profits of 35 trillion VND (1.6 billion) on a revenue of 163 trillion VND.-VNA