2 May 2012
Indian President Pratibha Patil arrives in South Africa for a state visit on Wednesday, accompanied by a government minister, four parliamentarians, various officials and a business delegation.
Patil’s visit follows an invitation by President Jacob Zuma, and will provide an opportunity to for further strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
During her visit, Patil will discuss bilateral relations with Zuma. The two presidents will also address South African business people and their Indian counterparts at a business forum in Pretoria.
Since the establishment of full diplomatic relations between South Africa and India in 1993, numerous high-level visits have taken place between the two countries, with cooperation agreements signed in trade, investment, education, defence, information and communication technology (ICT), health, agriculture, and science and technology.
As strategic partners, South Africa and India have created a platform for cooperation in various forums, including the BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa; the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) grouping; the BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) climate change-specific forum; and the India-Africa Forum.
According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, trade between the two countries stood at R48.2-billion as of November 2011, with South African exports at R21.9-billion and imports from India at R26.3-billion.
The two countries have set a bilateral trade target of R111-billion to be reached by 2014.
“India and South Africa share a common vision on a range of global issues and domestic challenges,” the department said in a statement on Monday. “Many of the objectives are being pursued both bilaterally and multilaterally, and are also being given content through South-South initiatives.”