Gov Mbah Takes Investment Drive to Austria, Signs MoU

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Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has taken his investment drive to Vienna, Austria, where he held high level meetings with senior government officials, the business community and international development partners and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, towards the development of the state.

Mbah, who seeks to grow the state’s economy from $4.4bn to $30bn in four to eight years through private sector investment and strategic partnerships, met with the Austrian Minister of Interior,Gehard Karner; Minister of Labour and Commerce, Dr. Martin Kocher; Minister of Agriculture, Norbert Totschnig; Managing Director of the Austrian Promotional Bank, Bernhard Sagmeister; Director General of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, ICMPD, Michael Spindelegge; parliamentarians, among others, who expressed readiness to collaborate with the Enugu State government for the mutual benefits of both parties.

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Mbah and Karner
Mbah and Karner

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.

As a way of kickstarting 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, dwelt 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, Dr. 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.

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“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.

Mr. 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.

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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.