MP Mark Simmonds urges Batley businesses to ‘grab African opportunities’

MP Mark Simmondson visited Angloco Limited in Batley. (D532L429)
MP Mark Simmondson visited Angloco Limited in Batley. (D532L429)

Batley firms have been urged to do business in Africa by the government minister MP Mark Simmonds.

The foreign office minister visited fire engine manufacturer Angloco Limited yesterday to talk about the emerging opportunities in Africa.

Mr Simmonds labelled the continent as the economic landscape of the future.

He said: “It is fantastic to be in Batley. My message is for businesses to understand the market in Africa is progressing at a rapid rate. There are lots of new opportunities.

“This is not just oil and gas, it is education, agriculture, chemicals, retail. And it is all part of the journey of Africa and it is people becoming more affluent.

“There is a growing ambition of people in Africa to have a lifestyle that we all accept as normal here.”

Mr Simmonds was given a tour of the Angloco site, including the workshop where the fire engines were built.

He also took part in a demonstration, which saw him use a high powered tool to smash the window of a car.

Staff showed the minister the equipment used by firefighters to free someone from a vehicle in an emergency.

Susan Waterson, of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), encouraged businesses aiming to capitalise on the African market to get in touch.

“While not always the easiest continent in which to do business, there are growing opportunities in Africa that UKTI can help companies to make the most of,” she said.