Foreign investment projects revealed as part of Commonwealth Games Business Programme

Kora, The Disposal Company, Ian Ward, Andy Street, Neil Rami

Two new Commonwealth-sourced foreign direct investment (FDI) projects have been announced for the West Midlands.

The investments have been made by India’s first plastic credit platform, The Disposal Company, and Canada-based pan-African fintech company, Kora. The news coincides with Accenture revealing plans to open a new Birmingham Hub, as part of its ambitions to create 1,500 jobs outside of London and the South East.
Led by the West Midlands Growth Company in partnership with the Department for International Trade, the programme will provide Kora and The Disposal Company with a package of free support, including ‘soft landing’ office space at Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham campus. The Programme also helps UK businesses from the region to get export-ready.

The Disposal Company is India’s first automated plastic offsets platform, dedicated to reducing waste and restoring the planet’s balance. Based in Jaipur, Rajasthan, The Disposal Company will create a new UK headquarters in Birmingham over the coming year.

Canadian-headquartered and Techstars-backed FinTech company, Kora, will also open a Birmingham office. The pan-African payments infrastructure provider helps businesses to accept and make payments and convert currency across multiple channels.

Gideon Orovwiroro, Chief Operations Officer at Kora, said: “Marking our first ever European investment, the launch of our new Birmingham office is a major milestone for Kora.

“The region’s extensive pipeline of tech talent and strong track-record in FinTech and banking will support us in enabling more businesses and individuals to make use of our innovative payments infrastructure.”
Andrew Griffith MP, UK Minister for Exports, said: “I’m so pleased to share these new investments, a direct result of the Global Growth Programme, which has helped to showcase the potential of the West Midlands for businesses to invest in.

“We already have free trade agreements with 33 Commonwealth nations and additional ones that we are currently negotiating will unlock fresh opportunities for further collaboration, particularly in the green industries that are priorities for the UK and our Commonwealth partners.”

Plans were revealed during a presentation at the Commonwealth Business Forum at the International Convention Centre, organised in partnership with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.

Business leaders alongside government officials have gathered to follow on from the COP26, to explore how the transition to net zero can stimulate sustainable economic growth through trade.
The West Midlands Global Growth Programme is being delivered as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) – the first economic legacy programme of its kind aligned to the Games, designed to strengthen bilateral ties between the UK and Commonwealth markets.  
BATP is sponsored by E.ON, Airbnb, Reckitt, University of Birmingham, Bruntwood and Gowling WLG.