Gujarati-origin entrepreneurs in Uganda, Kenya seek Gujarat’s help

November 21st, 2008 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra ModiAhmedabad, Nov 21 (IANS) A group of entrepreneurs of Gujarati origin settled in Uganda wants to set up an industrial development park in Gujarat, a senior state government official said here Friday.The representation was made to a high-powered business delegation led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi that visited Uganda and Kenya this week, state chief secretary D. Rajagopalan told reporters.

Modi visited the two countries to invite government leaders and business houses there to participate in the Gujarat Global Investors Summit in January. The delegation returned early Friday.

Rajagopalan said one entrepreneur of Gujarati origin in Kenya has decided to invest Rs.1 billion for setting up a wheat-processing unit near Ahmedabad for making biscuits.

The gems and jewellery sector was another segment in which entrepreneurs from the two East African states were interested, Rajagopalan said.

The chief secretary said that in a reciprocal gesture, Gujarat has offered to “lend a helping hand” for Uganda and Kenya’s economic development by setting up joint ventures.

“It is a matter of pride for all of us that Gujarat has evolved itself into such a position to help others grow. This is one way of going global and Gujarat is certainly going global,” he added.

Parimal Nathwani, group president of Reliance Industries and a delegation member, said two joint ventures have already been planned - a port development project with the Adani Group and laying down a 100-km pipeline in Kenya in which Reliance Industries could participate.

Also discussed were possible joint ventures in agro and food processing fields, and growing cotton over 20,000 hectares in Uganda.

The chief secretary said infrastructure was one area where there were possibilities for reverse investments from Gujarat. “We feel that Gujarat can play a pivotal role in this area, which will really widen and deepen Gujarat’s capability to go global.”

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