Qatar’s IAS invests €1bn in Central Africa
Doha-based IAS International will launch over €1 billion (Dh5.72 billion) worth of projects in the Central African Republic (CAR), the investment company announced on Saturday.
Issam Abu Issa, Chairman of IAS, said investors worldwide are becoming more aware of the business potentials of CAR. The investment firm is expected to pour in most of their resources into Cite Lumiere, the Central African region’s first special economic zone.
“We are confident that the free zone will help CAR to become a catalyst for extensive economic growth and development,” Issa said.
Cite Lumiere, the only tax-exempt island in the Central African region, will be developed into a dynamic urban community consisting of a central commercial district and two residential communities. The project will have an office park, civic zone, five- and four-star hotel and apartments, and a shopping centre.
An IAS subsidiary, Centrafricaine de Developpement et d’Investissments will be the developer and owner of the island. The entire development project will cost €500 million (Dh2.86 million) and is expected to be completed by 2016.
Aside from its Cite Lumiere venture, IAS has also invested in various industries such as gold and diamond, oil and gas exploration, timber and water plants.
Foreign direct investment in Africa has doubled to $36 billion (Dh132.12 billion) between 2004 and 2006. Investors from the GCC, led by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, have injected billions of dollars in sectors focusing on infrastructure, telecoms, banking and tourism.
Francois Bozize, President of CAR, said the growing direct foreign investments in Africa have boosted their economy.
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