Deputy Minister Raj Modi

A LOCAL company, Primetone Investments is in discussions with an Asian group of companies, Kanku International, to set up a US$250 000 steel manufacturing plant in Bulawayo.

In an interview during a tour of the site in Kelvin Industrial area by Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi and Kanku International managing director Mr Mukesh Kothari, where the steel plant would be established, one of Primetone directors Mr Kudzai Mumvuri said their Indian counterparts were in strategic partnership negotiations.

“They are planning to invest in this company Primetone Investments and once it becomes operational this company has capacity to employ over 250 people and of that figure maybe close to 200 people will be general labour,” said Mr Mumvuri.

“We have just done some preliminary discussions. We want to start manufacturing steel here (Bulawayo) and the company will be a mini Zisco.

“This is a new factory, it’s just that we need more money to kick start it. We are looking at figures between US$200 000 and US$250 000.”

He said as soon as they finalise discussions, they should be able to start operations in three months.

“We are so excited by this new dispensation and we are looking forward to these guys who are coming through to invest.

“Honourable Modi has been working very hard and we are hoping that whatever he is trying to do to get investors here in Zimbabwe, will bring some fruits into the city and the country at large,” he said.

In a separate interview, Mr Kothari said he was in the country to explore investment opportunities following Deputy Minister Modi’s visit to India in November last year.

“I am here because of your Deputy Minister (Raj Modi). He visited India in November last year and he explained everything about Zimbabwe.

“I am here to see the investment opportunities and am really happy to be in Zimbabwe and hopefully l’m working on what best I can do, how l can be a good investor in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mr Kothari said his organisation was establishing its footprint across Africa and has a listed unit in Ghana and Malawi.

During the visit by Deputy Minister Modi, a delegation of Indian investors indicated that they would be visiting the country early this year to explore investment opportunities in all sectors of the economy with special focus on partnerships and alliances to enhance bilateral economic and trade ties between Zimbabwe and India.

Indian businesspeople have shown interest in areas such as construction, engineering, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals, textile, tourism, mining, and retail, among others.Chronicle