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Saturday, Apr 13, 2002

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Southern Africa keen on IT solutions from India

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THE Southern African Developing Community (SADC) is keen to adopt information technology (IT) solutions from India for its industrial development, which has shown a recovery in the last five years.

Learning from India's interaction with multinational corporations and putting it to fruitful use in its pursuit of developing an information society in the southern region was one of the key objectives of SADC.

Addressing a seminar on Business Opportunities in Southern Africa, jointly organised by the Greater Mysore Chamber of Industry (GMCI) and the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) here today, Ms Ana Maria Carreira, leader of the SADC delegation and Ambassador of Angola in India, said there was tremendous scope for cooperation between India and the SADC region in the field IT.

Creation of IT training institutes in SADC-member countries and promotion of software development centres in the region would be among the agenda for mutual cooperation, she said adding that this was being conceived to improve and broaden equitable access to information and communications technology and reduce the costs related to IT in the region.

The region has focussed on developing a SADC-wide infrastructure and encourage growth of software and hardware development facilities, Ms Carreira said.

Outlining the SADC's role in galvanising industrial and trade activities among its members countries, Ms Carreira said the strategic location of SADC and its huge market coupled with large mineral wealth and excellent regional infrastructure should be of great interest to investors from India.

While seeking India's participation in the region's economic activity, Ms Carreira also urged for expertise to restructure and reorganise SADC industries. The region, she added could gain from the Indian experience with regard to value-addition or beneficiation for which joint ventures between India and SADC could be promoted.

Harping on the region's attractive investment incentives, she said foreign investors could enjoy a virtual full freedom with regard selection of sectors and items for investments.

The meeting was also addressed by Mr Harbans Thukral and Mr M. Satyanarayanaswamy, Presidents of the GMCI and FKCCI respectively.

Mr Thukral said the main objective of the meeting was to explore business opportunities in the fields of IT, financial and professional services, health and medical care.

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