Bilateral trade between South Africa and India has the potential to treble over the next five years with huge opportunities opening up for the business sectors.
The recent visit by a high-level South African business delegation to India has helped to strengthen economic relations between the two countries and exposed companies to the opportunities for trade and investment in South Africa.
The delegation was led by Dr Essop Pahad, Minister in the Office of the President and jointly organised by the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
Mr. Iqbal Sharma, the Deputy Director General of Trade and Industry says the mission was a “significant success” as it brought together representatives from South African business with their counterparts in India. “We struck up relationships that will in the coming months lead to solid partnerships resulting in new investments in South Africa,” he says.
The South African delegation participated in two IMC/dti investment conferences in Mumbai and New Delhi. These were well attended by over 200 Indian representatives. The visit also generated strong media interest including participation of Dr Pahad in two Knowledge Forums with senior Indian officials, organised by the Times Group of India.
Mr. Sharma says it is clear there is strong interest in investment in the South Africa pharmaceutical industry while the hospitality sector is also poised for significant expansion as the number of Indian visitors to South Africa continues to grow.
Among the other sectors that had representatives on the mission are business process outsourcing, information technology and the automotive industry. These are also areas targeted for special attention by the government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (ASGISA).
For South African companies there are massive opportunities in infrastructure development to support the rapidly expanding Indian economy. South Africa expertise in deep mining operations and the power sector are also in strong demand in India.
Ms Yvonne Johnston, the CEO of the IMC says the mission was organised to tap into the growing interest in relations between South Africa and India. In the last three months there have been a number of ministerial delegations from India participating in local trade shows as well as the meeting of the IBSA alliance between South Africa, India and Brazil.
“Clearly the interest is there and the governments have put in place the required structures. It is now up to the business communities in South Africa and India to seize the opportunities and form partnerships that will benefit both our societies.
“Current bilateral trade is in the order of R15 billion a year – but it has been growing by 30% per annum in recent years. At this rate it is not impossible to reach the R50 billion mark by 2012,” she says.
“The mission was a great success following in the footsteps of our previous missions to Europe, the USA and the Middle East. We have helped to forge strong ties with the Indian business community and demonstrated to them that South Africa is Alive with Possibility,” 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, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org