Congo Altering Law to Lure Investors for $5.7 Billion Farm Plan

Friday, 12 Jul 2013 08:23 AM

 

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Democratic Republic of Congo will modify a law that restricts foreign ownership of agriculture projects as it seeks to raise financing for a proposed $5.7 billion expansion plan, the Agriculture Ministry said.

The government has already obtained 15 percent of the funds required for the program that targets 6 percent annual growth in the industry, Agriculture Minister Jean-Chrysostome Vahamwiti told reporters today in the capital, Kinshasa. The government will hold a conference in September to help attract more investment, he said.

“We want to give the opportunity to investors to invest in the agricultural sector,” Vahamwiti said. Legislation requiring that Congolese citizens or companies own more than 50 percent of agriculture projects is being revised as part of a process of “reassuring eventual investors” planning to set up operations in the country, he said.

Economic growth in Congo, the world’s 10th-largest producer of copper, is forecast to accelerate to 8.2 percent this year from 7.2 percent last year, according to the government. Agriculture makes up about 22 percent of the country’s $15.6 billion economy, according to African Development Bank and World Bank data.

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