South Africa to lure BPO, IT majors from India

March 18th, 2008 - 6:45 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 18 (IANS) South Africa is all set to lure the BPO and IT industry from India to its backyard, as majority of the natives feel that “Europeans and Americans are more comfortable with the South African English accent”. A high-powered business delegation from South Africa on a visit to India to promote trade ties between the two countries said its looking not for making investments here but for Indians to make investments and provide expertise in setting up industries in South Africa.

Themba Ngcobo, president of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “For Indians, commencing up a business or investing in Durban will be like setting up a unit in familiar surroundings. The largest concentration of Indians outside the Indian sub-continent is in Durban.”

“We are not just looking at mining and minerals for joint ventures (JV) but also at other sectors like power, agro-products and pharmaceuticals,” Ngcobo told IANS.

Donee Kruger, project manager of Investment Promotion (Manufacturing), said: “At present there are no joint ventures signed between the two countries. That is why we are here. Small-scale mine owners want to go in for JVs.”

“Though several of the mines have been closed down, the potential is still there and with the JVs these mines can be again put to use,” he added.

According to Investment Promotion (Resources) general manager Lester Bouah: “Power companies from India have already evinced interest in setting up bases in our country. We intend to put over $50 billion power projects in our country. Several of the mining projects are also linked with power.”

Elaborating, Bouah said: “Some of the mines are sitting on coal bed and both of our countries’ need for power is immense. This is what we are trying to tell the people here.”

Asked about the talks, Ngcobo said: “Several big power companies have already started scouting in our country and talks are at an advanced stage. We are also having talks with BPOs, IT companies and pharma majors.”

“We are very eager to nurture pharma companies as health care in Africa is one of the costliest commodity. On Tuesday, we will be leaving for Delhi where we intend to have an in-depth discussion with the commerce ministry,” Ngcobo added.

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