African countries invite Coimbatore investors to tap unexplored potential

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-07-30 14:00:00 – Tamil Nadu

Diplomats of seven African countries, Mali, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana and Mauritius speaking at a meeting organized by the Confederation of Industry in Coimbatore on Thursday on Africa Seminar Series – the Land of Unexplored Potential, invited the trade and industry in Coimbatore region to invest in their countries, especially in sectors such as agriculture, textiles, energy, and education.

Coimbatore leads in sectors such as textiles, foundries, and pumpsets and has over 25,000 micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, said S. Narayanan, vice-chairman of CII, Coimbatore Zone.

According to Niankoro Yeah Samake, Ambassador of Mali, Coimbatore is of special interest to Mali because cotton is a major export product for the country and Coimbatore is a hub for textile industry. In February 2017, a trade mission from India will visit Mali to explore opportunities in agriculture business, cotton, mining, healthcare and telecommunications.

Mohammed Hija, acting High Commissioner of Tanzania, said that entrepreneurs can look at tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, education, and information and communication technology to invest in Tanzania. At present, they have opened up to investments in solar energy.

Molalign Asfaw, Minister Counsellor and Charge d’ Affairs, Embassy of Ethiopia, pointed out that Ethiopia has registered double digit growth for more than a decade and over 600 Indian companies have registered in Ethiopia. Of these, 250 have started operations. The country has 12 industrial parks and offers several tax incentives to investors. There are opportunities in agro processing, textiles and apparel industries.

According to Kedisi N. Margaret, Minister Counsellor – Uganda High Commission, location and availability of natural resources are advantages for Uganda. Companies will have 100 percent ownership of their investments. She urged the participants to visit Uganda as a tourist.

Lubinda Namunda Mwitumwa, Counsellor – Zambia High Commission, said the country is looking for partnerships for investment in solar energy. It is a “land-linked” country and there is huge potential for companies in road development. Agro processing, mining, and value addition to gems are some of the areas with scope for investment.

Meipelo Mogotsi, First Secretary – Economic, Botswana High Commission, said that they are looking for Foreign Direct Investment and believe India has expertise and simple technologies. Botswana exports 70 percent of the diamonds mined there to India. Indian industries can look at investment in agriculture, manufacturing, education and healthcare, apart from diamond cutting and polishing and value addition to leather.

Seewraj Nundlall, Counsellor (Trade and Investment), Mauritius High Commission, said that some of the emerging areas that Mauritius was focusing on were ocean economy, financial sector and small and medium-scale enterprises.

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