Daniel Nemukuyu in New Delhi, India
INDIAN investors yesterday swarmed Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu, expressing their interest to do business in Zimbabwe, with one of the leading vehicle manufacturing companies, Ashok Leyland, revealing its plans to set up a bus assembly unit in the country.
An impressive presentation by Minister Ndlovu, inviting firms to invest in Zimbabwe during the CII-Exim Bank conclave, won the hearts of the Indian business people, resulting in an overwhelming response.
Minister Ndlovu spent the greater part of yesterday locked up in meetings with companies willing to do business in Zimbabwe.
Among the companies, Minister Ndlovu said, was Ashok Leyland, which wants to set up a bus assembly plant in Zimbabwe.
“Ashok Leyland approached me and we had a meeting where they expressed interest in establishing a plant to assemble buses in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“They are keen to partner a Zimbabwean company in setting up the plant for buses and trucks.
“They even told me they have four-wheel-drive buses for our rough terrain.”
Minister Ndlovu said if the parties agree to the deal, it was likely to ease transport challenges in Zimbabwe and boost the economy.
Zimbabwe aims to become an upper-middle income economy by the year 2030.
Minister Ndlovu also met Mr Nitin Netal, the director of an Indian energy firm called AVAADA, and he showed interest in setting up a solar plant in Zimbabwe.
“AVAADA are ready to set up a solar plant in the country and they indicated that they had enough funds for the project,” he said.
“They are yet to identify the cities and provinces to start the business.
“Some of their officers are already in Zimbabwe to carry out pre-feasibility studies. All they need is the Government’s guarantee.”
Shapoorji Pallonji and Company (Private) Limited Mr Saahil Patel said Zimbabwe had a conducive environment for business and that his company was ready to take up construction and mining work in the country.
“Zimbabwe has the largest pool of human capital in terms of engineering in Southern Africa, which is evidenced by the rate at which they are employed in neighbouring countries,” he said.
“I have had an opportunity to work with Zimbabwean engineers in Botswana. They were so outstanding.”
Information communication technology company AARAV Solutions’ head of operations Mr Kaifi Azad said they were prepared to set up some business in Zimbabwe.
SkipperSeil Limited marketing manager Mr Aman Mahendroo, whose company manufactures and repairs power transformers, said the firm was willing to open a factory in the country.