Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Newswire: South-South Cooperation

[Brazil - Saudi Arabia] -- Saudi Arabia and Brazil are natural allies

By Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva

This week I will have the honor to be the first Brazilian President to officially travel to Saudi Arabia. I retain fond memories of the visit in 2000 of the then Crown Prince to Brazil. Since then, numerous high level visits have further strengthened the ties between our two countries and peoples.

Brazil prides itself on having roots in the rich cultural heritage of Arab civilization. Successive waves of immigrants from the Middle East have made their way to Brazil in search of a new horizons and a better life. Over the years they have contributed to forging present-day Brazil and to its diverse human landscape. Arab values, tastes and sensibilities are today an integral part of what it means to be Brazilian.

My trip to Saudi Arabia aims to explore and enhance these many-faceted affinities and the opportunities for cooperation that they offer. Much has been achieved over recent years, but much remains to be done if we are to fully realize the potential of two thriving economies that are making their mark on the global scene.

[China - Bahrain] -- Bahrain reviews construction ties with China
Co-operation between Bahrain and China in the construction sector was discussed at a key meeting.

Minster of State for Foreign Affairs and Tamkeen chairman Dr Nazar Al Baharna met a Chinese business delegation and discussed various issues of mutual interest.

Development of programmes that can reduce the dependency of construction companies on unskilled labour by introducing machinery and technological solutions was also highlighted.

[India - Kenya] -- Kenya, India to beef up ties in small industry sector
In yet another indication of India's growing interest in the East African region, the country's National Small Industries Corp (NSIC) has signed an agreement with Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) to strengthen cooperation in the small scale industry sector.

KIE is a state-run agency of Kenya to promote indigenous entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises (SME).

According to media reports here, the partnership involves technology transfer, and marks a major step towards improving Kenya's quality standards in manufacturing, production and human resources.

"The government is keen to forge a viable partnership with friendly countries, particularly in the spirit of south-south cooperation," Kenyan Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey was quoted as saying.

[Asia - Africa] -- Asian Foreign Direct Investment in Africa
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa by developing Asian economies is growing and has the potential to reach much higher levels. The present report notes that Africa-bound FDI is still a small percentage of the rapidly climbing foreign investments being made by Asian transnational corporations.

The rapid economic growth in Asia can be expected to lead to increased Asian investments in Africa, in both natural resources and manufacturing. In particular, the rapid industrial upgrading taking place in Asia provides ample opportunities for Africa to attract efficiency-seeking and export-oriented FDI from Asian economies.