Among the companies that have sent senior representatives on the mission are PetroSA, Mintek, Supplier Park Development Corporation and DataWorld. Provincial development agencies such as GEDA, Trade & Investment KZN and COEGA also form part of the delegation.
Mr Iqbal Sharma, the Deputy Director General of Trade and Industry (dti) says the composition of the delegation reflects the economic sectors that currently account for fast growing relations between the two countries. “Business Process Outsourcing, the IT Sector, energy, construction and mining are very relevant today and I am confident that our visit will open up a number of new opportunities for trade and investment,” he says.
The 30 member delegation left for India on Sunday (7 October) and returns on the 12th. Investment Conferences are scheduled in both cities and one-on-one meetings with Indian business counterparts have been organised.
Dr Pahad is participating in Knowledge Forums that will receive extensive media coverage and also meeting with several members of the Indian cabinet, including the Minister for External Affairs, Mr Anand Sharma.
“The mission comes at a time when there is a boom in trade relations between South Africa and India,” says Mr Iqbal Sharma. “A senior trade mission from India visited us recently and the summit of the IBSA Alliance following our return will raise further interest.”
IBSA is an alliance between South Africa, India and Brazil to promote trade and cooperation between the three major countries on their respective continents but also to negotiate with countries in the northern hemisphere on issues of free trade, the environment and UN reform.
South Africa is currently India’s biggest trade and investment partner in Africa and serves as an important gateway into markets on the rest of the continent. Trade between South Africa and India has been growing at about 30% per annum in recent years. The projections are that bilateral trade will quadruple in the next four years, reaching more than R100 billion by 2011.
Ms Yvonne Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the IMC says she is confident the India mission will prove as successful as similar visits that have been organised to Europe, the USA and the Middle East.
“We want to inform Indian investors and the business community about the exciting opportunities opening up in South Africa and direct them towards specific projects or local partners,” says Ms Johnston. “The companies taking part in the mission have unique opportunities to establish ties with major Indian players in their fields.”
“South Africa is increasingly recognised as an attractive destination for trade and investment on the basis of our unique strengths and financial stability. This visit will confirm our position and also inform Indian audiences about opportunities for travel and tourism,” says Ms Johnston.
Issued by: Meropa Communications
On behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry and the International Marketing Council of South Africa
For more information about the mission, or to schedule interviews, please contact:
Claire Taylor: Meropa Communications
Telephone: 011 772 1000