Coimbatore

Coimbatore companies urged to study investment opportunities in Africa

Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of International Trade Centre, addressing the industry representatives of Coimbatore on Monday

Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of International Trade Centre, addressing the industry representatives of Coimbatore on Monday  

There is immense opportunity for light manufacturing industries: Dorothy Tembo

Nearly 80 % of the raw materials that will go into powering the electric vehicles of tomorrow originate in Africa, said Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of International Trade Centre (ITC), here on Monday.

Addressing a group of industry representatives from different sectors, she said there was immense opportunity for light manufacturing industries because of the resource industry and also because of the demand for industrial goods. Ms. Tembo said the largest resource discoveries in the world, during the preceding decade were in Africa.

Industries in Coimbatore have taken efforts to trade and invest in Africa. More needs to be done for expansion in to the continent (Africa). By 2030, Africa will have over 600 million consumers below the age of 30.

“I encourage you to seize, and not lose, if not first mover, at least a fast mover, advantage in Africa,’ she said.

The continent has a land mass that is undepleted and capable of producing food for the rest of the planet. In 2018, almost half million people from the African continent travelled overseas for medical treatment. Nearly 20 % of them travelled to India. This is unsustainable and highly competitive. The biggest gainer in 2018 in medical tourism for people from Africa was Turkey. Apart from good standard of expertise and services, the fall in the value of Lira helped.

Further, 50,000 African students are pursuing bachelor and masters programmes in India.

This is an indicator of the demand in the continent and the current inability of the national providers to match demand with supply. She urged the institutions in Coimbatore to explore actively setting up capacities in Africa.

The African Continental Free Trade Area by 54 member States of the African union is expected to be operational by July next year. This will offer Indian companies a single market with purchasing power and scale.

The ITC currently has a programme called Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA), which is funded by the UK, to promote trade and investment between India and the five East African countries - Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. This is across the agri value chain, textiles, apparel, and leather. SITA works at the government, institutional and business levels to fulfil its

In the next few months, there will be two events in which Coimbatore companies will feature - ITME Africa 2020 in Addis Ababa in February 2020, and visit by a delegation, which will attend the expo, to Uganda to study the investment scope.

In this regard, SITA is preparing a feasibility study for setting up one lakh spindles in that country, she said.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 3:29:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/coimbatore-companies-urged-to-studyinvestment-opportunities-in-africa/article30332741.ece

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