Wednesday, May 11, 2011

EconomicsIndia: Africa: 1 billion population object of India's investors

Business Today (May11,2k11)

We've all heard of China's entrepreneurs and state companies investing in and developing within Africa, a wide array of industrial and commercial activities.

Now India's money and expertize is heading in the same direction, aided and abetted by Africa's several thousands of Indian immigrants.  "Indian businesses are using the expatriate Indian network to tap the business opportunities in Africa," says Business Today.
Africa appeals to potential investors for a host of reasons, as demonstrated by numerous studies. Not surprisingly, natural resources have been the catalyst for Africa's growth. The continent has the widest range of minerals, from gold, platinum and diamond to chrome, coal, cassiterite and coltan.

The continent has grown steadily at about 5.6 per cent between 2001 and 2008, thanks to a combination of structural economic and political reforms, stable macroeconomic conditions and increased foreign direct investment, or FDI, inflows - which quadrupled from just over $50 billion in 2003 to over $200 billion in 2008 - mainly from emerging economies.

At the World Economic Forum, discussions revolved around how 40 African multinational corporations, labelled together as African Challengers, outperformed the Nikkei 225, DAX 30 and the S&P 500 on revenue and profit margins from 2003 to 2008. The African Challengers came from sectors in which Africa is least developed. The largest proportion of these fast growing companies are in information and communications technology, financial services and logistics, besides mining and natural resources. In short, where there are challenges in Africa, there are also investment opportunities - and not just in natural resources.  
See the picture gallery in BBC News - Africa (May10,2k11).

Question: do the "natural resources" figures include agricultural commodities.  Probably not.  I ask becawz I'm interested in cocoa, an agricultural commodity that Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire) specializes in, producing arguably the world's best beans, a type of cocoa bean that goes into chocolate goods of the h+est quality.

Hope the Indian investors don't get a corner on that market and on the cocoa futures that were disrupted for a long while this year, due to political tangles and strife in Ivory Coast.  Cocoa is good for eyes+t and other bodily-mental functions.

"One in three Africans -- 313 million people -- are now defined as middle class, according to African Development Bank, which has been studying people across the continent.  Photographer Philippe Sibelly has been documenting Africa's middle classes for his project The Other Africa, intended to show there is more on the continent than poverty and conflict."

-- EconoMix

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