20 March 2012
South Africa’s relations with India continue to yield positive results, SA High Commissioner to India Harris Majeke told a business seminar hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Chennai, India on Monday.
The five-day seminar, part of and international Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) led by Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, kicked off on Monday and ends in Mumbai on Friday.
“This gathering serves to reinforce the longstanding friendship that both India and South Africa have shared since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1993,” Majeke said.
Billions in trade, investment
“We have been able to build quite a diversified economic and political framework, with bilateral trade between our countries growing from US$4-billion to $11.1-billion over the 2005 to 2011 period.”
Majeke said India ranked among the top 10 investing countries in South Africa, with investments estimated at over $6-billion to date. South Africa’s investments into India have also been growing steadily, with investment now amounting to $250-million.
Majeke said initiatives that were being undertaken to step trade and investment up further. These included the establishment of an India-South Africa joint ministerial commission, the India-South Africa CEOs Forum, and the signing of trade and various other agreements.
South Africa and India also cooperate on defence matters and small enterprise development.
SA, Indian business delegations
“We are also in the process of negotiating a preferential trade agreement between our countries,” Majeke said. “This will further accelerate trade flows, and extend the range of traded goods, which will deepen the mutually beneficial trade and investment ties between our developing countries of the South,” he said.
The seminar is being attended by over 100 South African and Indian businessmen and women.
Sibongile Sambo, managing director of SRS Aviation and part of the 45-member South African delegation attending the seminar, said she had already managed to negotiate a potential deal with an Indian aviation company this week.