June 8, 2009 (Gambella)
Ethiopian News Agency
A multi-million birr investment project by Karuturi Global Limited, an Indian company in Etang Special Woreda of Gambella State was launched on Saturday.
The Ethiopian government expressed its commitment to expand unreserved support to the private sectors engaged in nation’s priority areas especially in the agriculture sector.
State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Abera Deressa, Gambella State Chief Umod Ubong and Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia Gurjit Singh inaugurated the project.
Dr. Abera said government set to enhance the agriculture sector as it generates 90 percent of the total foreign earnings and 50 percent of GDP.
Hence, he said, government is looking for more active involvement of the private sector in this sector with great potentials for wealth creation.
The state minister commends the company for its intervention in one of the growing state, Gambella.
Dr. Abera said the investment project with Indian investors is on mutual benefits and understanding and the two countries are enjoying fruitful cooperation.
He called up on Indian investors to come to Ethiopia where untapped resource available and conducive investment facilities put in place.
Gambella Chief Ubong on his part said his administration would provide all the necessary support for the realization of the project.
The chief expressed gratitude to Indian government support for the state in capacity building sector in which he said there has been a gap.
Ambassador Gurjit on his part said successful changes were being witnessed following the excellent partnership of Ethiopia and India.
The intervention of Indian investors has been steadily increasing specially in the last few years.
He said Indian investors with a total capital of over four billion USD covering agriculture, floriculture, engineering plastic consultancy, ICT, education water management, health, pharmaceutical among others, were operating in Ethiopia to date. Nearly two billion USD investment projects injected in 2008 alone which marks the sharp increase of intervention.
Some 2.5 billion USD of the intervention accounts for agriculture and floriculture sector, he said.
The investment projects are creating 200,000 jobs so far.
Karuturi Global Limited, Managing Director Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi on the occasion said the project would develop palm oil tree, rice and sugar cane on 300,000 hectares of land.
The project would create jobs directly or indirectly in the coming three to five years to 25,000.
He said he is engaged in agriculture and floriculture sectors in Oromia and South Ethiopia Peoples' states in Bako, Holeta and Wolkite localities.Ethiopia is India’s second biggest partner in Africa after Sudan in terms of investment. Indian entrepreneurs have become among forerunners in Ethiopia's FDI list investing over four billion US dollars.