Cote d'Ivoire invites India to build entrepreneurship

Cote d'Ivoire invites India to build entrepreneurship

Monday, 24 March 2008, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Cote D'Ivoire, a country that is gradually emerging out of a civil war, is increasingly looking at India to help build entrepreneurs out of its citizens, while developing its small-scale industries.

Cote D'Ivoire, in West Africa, had been under French colonial rule since the late 19th century and achieved independence in 1960.

However, the country came under the grip of consecutive coups in 1999 and 2001 after which it fell victim to a civil war in 2002 that adversely affected its socio-economic development.

"We want Indian companies to come and invest in Cote d'Ivoire. We offer huge tax concessions and we have now built an excellent business environment," Konate Adama, director of small enterprises, Cote d'Ivoire, told IANS.

"We want Indians to come and invest in Cote d'Ivoire. But as they explore our resources we want them to build entrepreneurs out of Ivorians," said Adama.

"We have everything. Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer of coco, second-largest producer of coffee and one of the leading producers of wood and cashew nuts," he added.

Almost 80 percent of the cashew nuts produced in Cote d'Ivoire are exported to India and the rest to China and Malaysia.

"We are rich in agricultural produce, but we have not been able to develop any of these into a full-fledged industry. When the French left us they took away everything with them. And then there have been two military attacks followed by a civil war," Adama said.

"Ivorian entrepreneurship is not well-developed. So we now want India and other countries to help realise our resources and build industrialists among us," he said.

"We are also rich in oil; our universities offer very high level of education. We are also growing in telecommunications and ICT (information and communications technology)," Adama highlighted.

The country is heading towards elections in the latter half of the year.

"India, being the world's largest democracy, can help us teach democracy and bring in stabilisation through economic process," Adama said, adding that the country is aiming to reach a level of over eight percent in its economic growth rate.
Source: IANS
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