S Africa shows interest in mining investment

Bhubaneswar: Identifying Odisha as a strategic destination for investment in mining sector, South Africa on Monday said its trade delegation would soon visit the state to explore business opportunities.

“Odisha is a mining state and South Africa is a mining country. We have a lot of similarities. Therefore, Odisha is strategically important for South Africa,” its High Commissioner Rev Harris Majeke told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

Majeke, who met geo-scientists, mine owners and experts to study mining potentials in Odisha during his three-day stay in the state capital, said his country had expertise in deep mining and he would encourage South African businessmen to visit this part of India. “They (South Africans) have visited Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. I’ll go back and tell them that your next step should be Odisha,” he said.

The local chamber of commerce would make arrangement for visit of South African business delegation. “We also expect Odisha businessmen would visit our country and explore possibilities,” Majeke said.

The High Commissioner also invited Naveen Patnaik to visit South Africa. “I hope he (Patnaik) will come to South Africa and see the progress made in our country,” Majeke said adding besides business, there could be exchange in cultural and education fronts. He, however, said South African government had not given any specific proposal for business or investment. “But, we are keen to develop business ties with Odisha,” he said.

Lauding contribution of late Biju Patnaik towards South African liberation struggle, the high commissioner said “we want to revive the good relationship with Odisha as Biju Janata Dal is in power in the state.”