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Ethiopia woos Indian industrialists to invest

business Updated: Apr 16, 2010 11:24 IST

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Wooing Indian industrialists to invest in his country, Ethiopian Minister Counsellor for Economics and Business Mehreterab Mulugeta has said, the African nation offered excellent resources, including skilled workers at lower labour cost, and attractive incentives.

In an interaction with the members of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Madurai on Thursday night he said, by investing in Ethiopia industrialists could avail excellent resources and domestic raw material base besides guaranteed safety and security and above all skilled workers.

He said, the labour cost in Ethiopia was 0.25 USD per hour against 0.75 USD in India. Stating that 46 per cent of Ethiopia's GDP was contributed by farm sector, he said, 80 per cent of the foreign exchange was earned from this sector which also employed 85 per cent of the population.

The country had 74.3 million hectares of land suitable for growing various crops including cereals, pulses, oil seeds, coffee, spices, cotton and other grains.

"Cotton being the major crop, farming and processing facilities are the other areas in which one could invest," he said.

Tannery and leather goods also offered scope as Ethiopia had the largest number of domestic animals in Africa. It also had good prospects for mineral prospecting and development.

The Calub natural gas field had 73 billion cubic metres of gas reserves, he added.A foreign investor should have a minimum requirement of one lakh USD in cash or kind. But if the investment is done with domestic partner then he could manage with 60000 USD.

To invest in areas like engineering, architecture, auditing the required capital was 50,000 USD. The land could be leased upto a period of 99 years.

He also called for investments in edible oil extraction sector saying industrialists could export the seeds to other countries. There was no export tax.