Ovation as Anambra Seals Major Bilateral Agreements with Thailand

To collaborate on Large Scale Rice, Fish Farming, Gas & Solid Minerals

By James Eze

For Ndi Anambra at home and in the Diaspora and friends of Anambra State, last week will go down in history as the turning point in the journey to return the state to the path of greatness. It was the week when the leading lights of the business community of Thailand relocated to Anambra State to explore the vast business potentials of the state and tie a number of agreements that will leapfrog Anambra into a commanding position in the nation's economy.

After five exciting days of tours and presentations in a friendly atmosphere, Anambra State signed a pact with Thailand, agreeing that in partnership with the Thai Investment Group, it would establish large scale rice and fish farms and go into the manufacturing and refurbishing of agricultural machineries. Reading a communiqué issued at the end of the visit, the Anambra State Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Hon Ifeatu Onojeme further revealed that the Thai group also resolved to partner with Anambra and other interested investors to explore the state's Gas and Solid mineral sector and apply their technical expertise in waste management, recycling and waste energy projects. The Thai Investment Group also agreed to embark on its first ever Medical Mission to Nigeria and Africa in Anambra State during which time they would explore the possibility of bringing their expertise in the pharmaceutical industry which they hoped would make the state a major trading hub for medical supplies in Nigeria. They also expressed interest in the state power sector and initiated a Public Private Partnership arrangement to compliment ongoing private power projects in the area of power generation, and support for other electrical projects across the state.

Both parties also agreed to collaborate in education with a focus on skills acquisition and training relevant to the needs of the Economic Blueprint of the Obiano administration with a view to sending Anambra indigenes to Thailand for vocational training, while vocational schools in the state would serve as outlet and affiliates of prominent Thai vocational institutes.

On its part, Anambra State government agreed to provide an enabling environment consistent with international best practices necessary for investment and businesses from Thailand to enter and flourish, while the expected investments would focus on areas where the Thai economy has competitive advantage. Governor Obiano signed the Communiqué for Anambra state while the Leader of Delegation Dr. Ratana Porn signed for the Thai Investment Group. A joint investment would facilitate the objectives of the partnership within the next six to twelve months.

Led by Dr. Ratana Porn, the Thai Business Delegation had arrived the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu, Monday to the warm embrace of the Anambra State officials and the management of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA). Their arrival was significant for two reasons – One, it marked the first bold step of the Obiano administration to fulfill its Vision and Mission statements. From the tour and the agreements that followed, we could see the imminent realization of Obiano's Vision of working to ensure that “Anambra State becomes the 1st Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities” as well as the Mission of “creating a socially stable, business friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Anambra State.” Two; it was one event that finally proved to the whole wide world that Anambra has overcome its once troubling security nightmare, characterized by violent armed robbery, rampant kidnapping, brazen brigandage and utter lawlessness. The successful hosting of about 30 trade missioners for six days, involving extensive tours of the state, without an incident is a solid proof that Obiano has not only cleansed Anambra of hoodlums and brigands but he has also lifted a white flag to the global investment community, beckoning them to the New Anambra.

The Thai delegation was drawn from different segments of the Thai economy. They include Rayong Purify Group which is interested in oil refining, bio-diesel production with palm oil, tank farms and ethanol by cassava. There is also the S.S Furn-Tech Group which is the oldest group of furniture, particle board and plywood production and wood processing factories in Thailand as well as the Electricity Generating Authority Thailand (EGAT), an equivalent of the Nigerian PHCN.

Others include the DOS Dhammasorn Group which is interested in waste and water management, the Natawee Technology Group that manufactures agricultural equipment and machinery, the Aqua Product and Fish Supplier Group, the Waste Management and Garbage Factory, the Siam DUT KPN Mining Inter Trade Group, and the Production and Business Group which is the biggest group in the delegation. Also on the list of the delegation is the Global Service Interlink Group (GSI), CYR Agro-Tech Center, Knowledge Education Center, Luvam Global Solutions Company, Sun Tech Seeds Company and finally the Vegetable Group and Organic Fertilizer who represent the biggest group of herbal medicine in Thailand.

The Trade Missioners had a great time in Anambra State, touring places of economic importance like the famous Onitsha Main Market, Coched Farms, Ogbunike cave, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, Orient Petroleum and Ufuma Irrigation Projects among others.

Speaking at a colourful cultural night held to round off the trade mission, the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano called on prospective investors from within Nigeria and all over the world to emulate the example of the Thai business delegation. According him, this is the right time to come to Anambra and invest because the state has created enabling environment for genuine investors. "I invite investors all over the world to come because Anambra is open for business. Those who come now stand the best chance. As they say 'early bird catches the worm.' Anambra is the second smallest state after Lagos in terms of landmass but we are managing our limited land mass in a structured manner for the benefit of all.”

Governor Obiano expressed satisfaction with the hosting of a successful Investment Summit which he said has afforded the Thai delegation the opportunity to explore the huge investment potentials available in Anambra, pointing out that Thailand has a lot in common with Ndi Anambra because of their industry, respect for family and culture, as well as their prowess in various fields of endeavor which are in tune with the plans of his administration as encapsulated in the 4-Pillars: Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Trade & Commerce and Industrialization. He thanked the Thai's for agreeing to assist Anambra State in its quest for accelerated development.

Expressing the appreciation of the Thai group for a successful Anambra-Thailand Investment Summit, the Leader of Delegation, Dr. Ratana Porn, said that they were impressed by the high level of opportunities that exist in various sectors of the state. She assured that the unfolding collaboration with the Thai investors would yield the desired goals for the mutual benefit of the parties.

The colorful cultural night featured musical display by various groups including the Original Nkpokiti dance Troupe from Umunze, Abia War Dance Troupe, and a surprise flawless rendition of the Anambra State Anthem by the Thai delegation appreciated and applauded by guests at the event.

Original Nkpokiti Cultural Troupe from Umunze,

His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano and his wife Ebelechukwu with Chief Justice of Anambra State Hon Justice Peter Umeadi at the Cutural Night in honour of the Thai Investment Group at Governors Lodge Amawbia.

His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano and his wife Ebelechukwu with with the Ladies in the Thai Delegation during the Cultural Night held at Governors Lodge Amawbia.

Thai Investment group Ladies reciting the Anambra Anthem during the Cultural Night held at Governors Lodge Amawbia.

His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano and his wife Ebelechukwu, Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty Igwe Nnemeka Achebe and HRH Igwe Peter Anugwu of Mbaukwu, with the Ladies in the Thai Delegation during the Cultural Night held at Governors Lodge Amawbia.

His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano and his wife Ebelechukwu, with Royal Fathers and the Thai Delegation during the Cultural Night held at Governors Lodge Amawbia.

His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano and Dr.Dusit a member of the Thai Delegation exchanging traditional Igbo greeting for titled-men during the Cultural Night held at Governors Lodge Amawbia

Her Excellency Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano, with Leader of the Thai Delegation, Dr. Ratana Porn during the Cultural Night held at Governors Lodge Amawbia.

His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano and Leader of the Thai Delegation, Dr. Ratana Porn exchanging copies of the signed Communique during the Cultural Night held at Governors Lodge Amawbia.