Ethiopia keen on jute, leather joint ventures in Bengal

August 3rd, 2009 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 3 (IANS) Ethiopia is keen to form joint ventures with companies in West Bengal in sectors like jute and leather, a senior Ethiopian diplomat said here Monday.
“We have spoken to the chief minister (Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) today morning about future cooperation with West Bengal,” said Gennet Zewide, Ethiopian ambassador to India.

“We are looking into joint ventures. Thee could be private to private or state to state,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference by Emami Biotech to announce the company’s plantation project in Ethiopia.

Indian investments in Ethiopia have jumped to $4.1 billion in the last three years, up from $350 million before that, Zewide said.

Referring to Ethiopia’s coal and iron ore reserves, she said her country was keen on getting partners for mining ventures. “We have asked Emami if they can get into coal mining.”

Mehreteab Mulugeta, minister counsellor at the Ethiopian embassy, said Kanan Devan Hills Plantations, the former tea plantation arm of Tata Tea, has acquired 2,000 hectares of land in Ethiopia for setting up a tea plantation.

“Officials of Kanan Devan had earlier visited us and has recently acquired the land where they plan to set up a tea plantation,” Mulugeta said.

Recently, the Delhi-based Uttam Sucrotech won a $100-million contract for expansion of the Wonji-Shoa sugar factory in central Ethiopia.

The Indian government has given a $640-million loan for three sugar factory projects: two expansion projects at Fincha and Wonji and a giant new factory at Tendaho in Afar regional State.

The money is to be released in phases from India’s state-owned Export Import (EXIM) Bank.

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