India and SA focus on doubling trade figures

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The inaugural India-South Africa Business Summit, which will be held later this month, will focus on doubling trade figures between the two countries, says India's High Commissioner to South Africa, Ruchira Kamboj.

Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Kamboj said the summit is aimed at maximising the potential of economic relations between the two countries.

“Trade figures between our countries stand roughly at US $10 billion and we would like to see that number doubling in the next coming years. We are confident that there is potential to double this figure. There are many sectors that our countries can cooperate in,” Kamboj said.

The India-South Africa Business Summit will be held on 29 and 30 April at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

The two-day business event will focus on start-ups, automotive, health care and pharmaceuticals sector, as well as mining. Other areas to be looked at are Agro-Processing, women in Business and the Fourth Industrial Revolution as these sectors have a potential for growth in a bilateral context.

“[The summit]… is [about] two countries, which have a rich history, coming together, confident of a future that is there for both our countries,” Kamboj said.

Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) Group Executive: Trade, Investment and Regulatory Enhancement, Muzi Mathema, said South Africa and India have strong trade relations but this summit is an effort to push trade relations to the next level.

“We have to bear in mind that we are in the dawn of a growing emerging market. In 50 years’ time, a third of the working force will either be in India or in other BRICS countries. If we don’t start taking these initiatives now, we won’t be able take advantage of the momentum in growth in our countries. The emphasis is that both our countries are open for business,” Mathema said.

He said the only way to grow the country’s economy is by expanding South Africa’s trade footprint.

“That’s the one key challenge that we want to address: to grow the trade footprint as well as to grow the economy footprint of the Gauteng economy. Part of these efforts is to make sure that our businesses that are based in Gauteng get access to the right markets in India and are able to grow in order to address the growth challenge that we are faced with as a country,” Mathema said.

He said trade between India and South Africa ignites a lot of skills transfer, employment and transformative changes in key sectors.

“This conference is important in fostering the historic and continuing relations between our countries as we forge ahead to become industrial nations,” Mathema said.

The Summit will be held under the theme: “United by Legacy, Unified for Prosperity”.

The event is being organised by the High Commission of India, in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India; the Department of Trade and Industry; Invest India; the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency. –

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