I understand 〜として to have the basic meaning of "as" or "assuming X" for making certain hypothetical statements, but I'm confused what function it serves in the following statement:
The above is E>J translation from the WSJ. Below is the original:
Mr. Srouji said Apple’s modem effort just kicked off this year, and he described it as a “long-term strategic investment”.
The statement from Mr. Srouji is not hypothetical but something he actually said explicitly at a public forum, so the として doesn't seem to add any intelligible meaning or grammatical information to the statement as far as I can make out.
Any grammatical insight here would be much appreciated. Thank you!