Tanzania sets out to woo Indian big businessesMarch 25th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by admin
Mumbai, March 25 (IANS) Indian automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) will set up a $1 billion tractor plant in Tanzania while Tata Chemicals is firming up plans for a soda ash manufacturing plant in the African country. This and more was discussed when a high-level business delegation from Tanzania, led by its Vice President Ali Mohamed Shein, aggressively wooed the Indian corporate world here.
The delegation, which includes several key ministers and government officials, made a brief visit to this financial capital, before leaving for New Delhi late last night.
In his address before a select gathering of Indian business captains Monday evening, the vice president sought to attract India’s mammoth film industry to his country. Tanzania, he pointed out, was blessed with lush greenery, a pristine sea and “a peaceful atmosphere” conducive for business.
“We want to promote tourism and the best way to do it is to ask the Indian film industry to visit us.
“In several places we are promoting investment in the hospitality industry at five star hotel levels, but we are sincerely seeking in several tourism spots investments and expertise in the setting up of small restaurants and medium hotel chains. And Indians are the best in the hospitality industry,” he said.
“We have come here to attract Indian expertise and offer incentives which have evolved through the changes we have brought in our economic structural policies,” he said.
Apart from heavy industries, the vice president said the Tanzanian team has met several banking and insurance firms “for setting up bases in the east African country”.
Giving some details about the proposed Indian projects in Tanzania, Minister for Industries, Trade and Marketing Mary Nagu said Tata Chemicals would set up its $500 million soda ash manufacturing plant in the north of the country.
“We are awaiting clearance from the environment department before going ahead with the project execution and announcement,” Nagu said.
About M&M’s project, she said talks with the automotive major were at an advanced stage.
Apart from the modalities of the proposed joint venture, which is going to use the public private participation route, a team from M&M would visit Tanzania in the coming months to finalise the location of the plant.
“In the first phase, after the plant completion, the company intends to roll out 3,000 tractors in a year,” Nagu told IANS.
“We are very keen on this project. Our country is primarily an agriculture country and tractors are necessary farm equipment; moreover, Mahindras are well known in Africa for their automobiles. Thus, for us, instead of importing utility vehicles, it is better that we have a plant in our country and maybe we can even export auto units from our country in future,” the minister said.
The high level delegation has also visited several fertiliser companies and met top officials of the Pune-based Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corp Ltd.
“The talks are still at a very initial stage and I cannot say more on this. But then we are very keen for agrarian entrepreneurs in India to scout and invest in our country which has a massive chunk of arable land waiting for reaping a rich harvest,” the minister said.
She added that gold and gems polishing units was a sector that tops “our list of investors”.
“Our country is rich in gemstones and gold. We want big gold purification and gem stones polishing and jeweller units to set up plants in our country and thus save a lot of expenditure in import-export.”