Laval eyes business opportunities in Mali

By Robert Frank

“Monnaie soit qui Mali pense,” is the new maxim at Laval Technopole.

The city’s business development agency will host representatives from the North African nation later this month.

“Delegates from Mali will be coming to Quebec in mid-February,” announced Laval’s newly appointed economic ambassador Paolo Galati. “Laval Technopole has arranged for us to meet them on Wednesday, Feb. 25.”

“Discussions will entail how to develop different agricultural sectors and how to go about bidding on future industrial development,” he said in an interview.

The landlocked country of 15 million people is one of the world’s poorest. Mali’s main exports are gold, livestock and cotton, but Laval businesses could help it to diversify.

Like Quebec, the country has successfully exploited some of its hydroelectric potential. The average Malian earns about $1,500 a year, so there is nowhere to go but up.

Galati’s was appointed Laval’s economic ambassador two weeks ago. His role is to help create international relationships for Laval.

“My first step has involved a lot of reading and analysis,” the St. Vincent de Paul councillor told The Suburban, recalling the first two weeks since his appointment as the city’s international trade honcho.

“It’s important that Laval, which is already well respected in Quebec and in Canada, become one of the most respected cities in the world,” Galati said. “We’re working hard to develop opportunities internationally.”

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