Posts Tagged ‘industry’

Knowing France… contd.

Bonjour and welcome back to the second of the three part ‘Knowing France’ series. Get to know seven more provinces of France — some well known, and some unheard of. Have fun…

Corsica

Capital: Ajjacio

  1. An island by itself.
  2. Excellent coastline and exceptional natural beauty makes for a great tourist destination.
  3. Fabulous, mild climate.

Franche-Comte

Capital: Besancon

  1. This region is the capital of France’s watch and clock-making industry and of high precision engineering.
  2. Montbéliard-Sochaux is home to the Peugeot car firm.
  3. Several traditional activities like cheese-making, woodwork, etc., make this region very popular.

Ile-de-France

Capital: Paris

  1. Includes about 18 per cent of France’s population.
  2. Highest concentration of economic activities, including industry and services. Also, all government departments, national headquarters of public authorities and the head offices of the main companies are located there.
  3. Paris houses a number of international organizations including UNESCO and the OECD.

Languedoc-Roussillon

Capital: Montpellier

  1. Important University centre.
  2. Currently in a revival mode thanks to the diversification of its agriculture, the expansion of tourism, the establishment of advanced technology industries and research.

Limousin

Capital: Limoges

  1. Main activities are the agri-foodstuffs industry and the production of leather.
  2. Famous for the ‘Porcelaine de Limoges’ which produces luxury wares of world-wide renown.
  3. A special effort is being made to open up the region.

Lorraine

Capital: Metz

  1. This region was once known for the iron and Steel industry as well as the coal mines, on which its wealth was built.
  2. With the dwindling status of the industry, the region has faces a great amount of economic problems, but is now undergoing some far-reaching programs of industrial reconversion and diversification of activities.
  3. Nancy, in this region is a university centre.

Midi-Pyrenees

Capital: Toulouse

  1. Largest of metropolitan France’s 22 regions.
  2. Toulouse is the main centre of France’s aerospace industry (the Airbus is assembled there).
  3. It is the second in importance for advanced technological activities in France (research, data-processing, computers, robotics).

Look out for the last part. Watch this space again.

KENYA — Growth vs Development

Kenya is a magical spot in the African continent. Filled to the brim with exciting safaris, the region is also rich in geographical, cultural and natural diversity. Apart from being a tourist’s delight, this east African country is now gradually making it’s way up into serious investors’ heart as well.

Investments and opportunities

Currently, there has been much excitement about President Mwai Kibaki’s announcement regarding the start of the construction work on Lamu Port! This is, arguably the country’s largest investment so far and has created a buzz among investors across the world.

The project is being marketed around the world for investors, and news has it that China is already the biggest contender for the project. There are several developed countries that have shown interest in the project, viz., Germany, Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

The project, when launched and developed, will provide Kenya with not only a a deep-sea port, a second one at that, but will also open up a route to the landlocked countries of Ethiopia and the newly independent, oil rich South Sudan.

Total Project Cost

The total cots of the project, which will include a railway line, a modern road that will link the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the South Sudan capital of Juba to the Kenyan coast Lamu Port, and an oil refinery, is estimated to the tune of $16 billion (shs1.4 trillion), and is said to be much larger than the country’s budget.

What does it mean for Kenya?

The Positives:

  1. With this launch and development, Kenya is poised to leap into the middle level economy segment.
  2. It is sure to drive meaningful economic growth.
  3. Rise in real estate investments. Experts speculate that there will be an impressive growth in foreign nationalities investing in holiday homes, luxury properties, etc., in anticipation of a growth in the cruise tourism.
  4. Growth in tourism as well as agriculture sector are also expected.

 The negatives:

  1. Environmental issues, such as danger to the delicate marine life, coral reefs and mangroves, surrounding the port.
  2. As a result of the above, the fishing industry may be hit adversely.
  3. Piracy is a major concern now for shippers, once the ports open up.
  4. Some fear that the costal tourism industry may suffer since the dredging activities may ward off tourists from snorkeling or even basking in the bright African sun!

With enough assurance from concerned authorities, one can only hope that along with the growth in the economy, overall development is also kept in focus. Balancing infrastructure growth with a strong environmental, cultural and tourist protection regulations is important to ensure justifiable and equal enjoyment of progress!