New Delhi: Trade ministers of several African nations on Monday urged India to set up factories in their respective countries to generate employment and fix trade imbalance which is in favour of India.
“We invite our brothers and sisters from India to come to our region and invest. Set up factories and produce the finished goods there. Do the value addition over there,” Robert K. Sichinga, Trade and Industries Minister, Zambia said in his address to the eighth India-Africa Project Partnership Summit being held here March 18-20.
“No longer should Africa send its raw materials to any other country including India. We are ready to learn from India to use its technology but we also want an equal partnership.”
According to Sichinga, his country is ready to facilitate Indian investments in industrial clusters that are being set up by his Government.
“We have a number of clusters that are coming up and we want the Indian companies to move in and take advantage of them.”
Another African country, Uganda, urged for more Indian investments in training and industrialisation of the country.
“We imported $684 million worth of goods from India and exported only $13.9 million in 2010 to India. We exported raw material. Now how to address such a huge trade deficit issue,” Amelia Kyambadde, trade industry and cooperatives minister, Uganda said.
“This is the case with majorly all African countries. We require our man power to be trained and utilised in the process of value addition and finished products from our raw material wealth.”
According to Kyambadde, another contagious issue regarding foreign investment in her country was that investors are bringing in trained man power and ignoring the possibility of generating cheap native labour.
“There is an advantage here with our low ost labour force. They need training and this is beneficial for both sides. The problem with investors is that they are ignoring this fact and this should not happen.”
Meanwhile, trade ministers from Kenya and Ethiopia invited Indian investments in the infrastructure sector.