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Enugu: Mbah Woos Investors In Austria, Signs MoU

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Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah has taken his investment drive to Vienna, Austria, where he held high-profile meetings with senior government officials, the business community and international development partners, and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU), which is aimed at bringing investment to the state.

Through strategic partnerships and private sector investment, Mbah aims to grow the state’s economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion in four to eight years.

Mbah met with a number of influential people in Austria, including parliamentarians, the managing director of the Austrian Promotional Bank, Bernhard Sagmeister, the director general of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and ministers of labour and commerce, agriculture, and management of the Austrian Interior, Gehard Karner, Martin Kocher, and Norbert Totschnig.

At the meeting with Austria’s Minister of Interior, Karner, Mbah and his host agreed to partner across various sectors with opportunities in Nigeria for Austrian SMEs.

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As a way of kick-starting a fruitful relationship, Mbah and Karner signed an MoU on behalf of their respective governments for the establishment of a K-9 training unit in Enugu to boost security and crime detection.

Mbah’s meeting with the Austrian Minister of Agriculture, Totschnig, centred on the implementation of an agricultural model region, measuring about 2,000 to 5,000 hectares, and replicating the Austrian Cooperative success story in Enugu State.

Meeting with the Austrian Minister of Labour and Commerce, Kocher, the Enugu State governor said his administration expressed readiness to help expand collaboration between Austrian and Nigerian businesses, especially in the areas of agriculture, hydro power, work and knowledge in semiconductors, possibly leveraging the already existing Austrian business presence at the European Business Park, Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu.

“Enugu is open for business. We are your trusted partner for business in Nigeria and a stepping stone to Austrian businesses looking for a foothold in Africa,” he said.

Meanwhile, the MD of the Austrian Promotional Bank, AWS, Sagmeister, said the bank was already supporting some Austrian businesses investing in Enugu State.

Sagmeister said the Austrian Promotional Bank was interested in exploring more opportunities to provide guarantees, including guarantees for credits from Nigerian banks, for Austrian businesses investing in Nigeria and equally assist the Enugu State Government to design creative approaches to procuring foreign funding.

Governor Mbah also toured the Spittelau waste incineration plant, which handles 250,000 tons of municipal refuse annually and generates a large proportion of electricity for powering the city of Vienna.

Meanwhile, the Austrian Chamber of Commerce has invited the Enugu State Government to the next Africa Day in Vienna where the state would boost its chances of investment by meeting with over 300 Austrian businesses with interest in overseas investment and opportunities.

The Head of International Relationships at the Chamber of Commerce, Michael Otter, said the Chamber was ready to work with Governor Mbah for the mutual benefits of Enugu State and Austria.

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