"I saw so much vacant land here in South Africa that I thought to myself if this land was in Madhya Pradesh, we could have filled so many stomachs," Chouhan, who is leading a high-powered delegation in South Africa for promoting investment and mutual cooperation, said.

Addressing leading businessmen, Chouhan said working together would not only benefit the people of both countries, but Madhya Pradesh and South Africa could also show the world a new way of addressing the issues of unemployment and poverty.

"We have a great emphasis on food processing in Madhya Pradesh and using this land and our food processing technologies, South Africa could address its unemployment issue easily," he said.

Chouhan invited locals to come and see the achievements in this regard themselves.

Chouhan said he had already met the Premiers of both Gauteng and Free State province in South Africa to express his strong views that he had not come to the country only to seek business but also to look at joint venture opportunities where they could work together for the betterment of people of both the regions.

Highlighting some of the sectors for this cooperation, Chouhan said his state could learn a lot from South Africa in mining through an exchange programme where technologies could be shared so that Madhya Pradesh could better exploit its natural resources through the methods used in South Africa.

"We also want to bring a light metro rail service to our larger cities and after looking at the highway infrastructure here, I believe there are many opportunities for South African companies to partner with us in our infrastructure development plans," he said.

"Tourism is another sector on which we are focusing. I am highly impressed with wildlife management in South Africa, especially in the private sector. There is a lot to learnt from the tourism sector in South Africa," the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said.

"We have a very vibrant pharmaceutical sector in our state. There is an opportunity to come and invest in the Special Economic Zone in Indore, where manufacturing can take place without attracting import or export duties and can be a base for value addition and export," he said.

Chouhan said the automotive and textile sectors in Madhya Pradesh were also growing rapidly and presented good investment opportunities, especially since the state had skilled manpower with no history of labour strikes.

The delegation also highlighted the upcoming three-day Global Investors Summit in Indore in October where Indian industry leaders, heads of state, policy makers, and investors are expected to interact.


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