Foreign direct investments play an extraordinary and growing role in global business. It can provide a firm with new markets and marketing channels, cheaper production facilities, access to new technology, products, skills and financing. For a host country or the foreign firm which receives the investment, it can provide a source of new technologies, capital, processes, products, organizational technologies and management skills, and as such can provide a strong impetus to economic development.
Foreign direct investments, in its classic definition, are defined as a company from one country making a physical investment into building a factory in another country. The direct investments in buildings, machinery and equipment is in contrast with making a portfolio investment, which is considered an indirect investment. In recent years, given rapid growth and change in global investment patterns, the definition has been broadened to include the acquisition of a lasting management interest in a company outside the investing firm’s home country. As such, it may take many forms, such as a direct acquisition of a foreign firm, construction of a facility, or investment in a joint venture or strategic alliance with a local firm with attendant input of technology, licensing of intellectual property.
New information technology systems, decline in global communication costs have made management of foreign investments far easier than in the past. The sea change in trade and investment policies and the regulatory environment globally in the past decade, including trade policy and tariff liberalization, easing of restrictions on foreign investment and acquisition in many nations, and the deregulation and privatization of many industries, has been the most significant catalyst for FDI’s expanded role.
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Mali Markala Sugar Project is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agribusiness project in Mali, comprising both – agricultural and industrial components. Markala Sugar Project has two main entities – CaneCo, which works in agriculture field; and SoSuMar, and industrial plant.
CaneCo will establish a 14,132 ha irrigated cane estate in Markala, which is 275km northeast of Bamako, on the north bank of the Niger River. It is planned to produce 1.48 million tons of sugar cane per annum. The project will support community development as well.
SoSuMar, the industrial component, comprises a sugar mill, ethanol plant and power co-generation facility. The mill will have a cane crushing capacity of 7,680 tons per day at full operating capacity, producing 190,000 tons of sugar per annum. The sugar will be traded on the domestic and regional markets. The ethanol plant will produce 15 million lt. of ethanol per annum, while the co-generation facility will produce 30 MW of electricity per annum.
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