President Ramaphosa to visit Switzerland, India

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa will use his international working visits this week to position South Africa favourably on the global map and solidify bilateral relations.

The President’s itinerary will see him on two working visits to Switzerland and a State visit to India.

The Switzerland visit will encompass global discussions on the future of work, global governance and partnership in an age of rapid technological change, while the State visit will reinforce South Africa’s relations with India.

President Ramaphosa begins his drive in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday in his capacity as co-chair of the International Labour Organisation’s Global Commission on the Future of Work.

The commission, co-chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, will launch its highly anticipated Report on The Future of Work at the ILO headquarters in Geneva today.

The report lays the foundation for global action on the challenges that governments, business and labour face amid the convergence of developments in the digital economy, climate change and cyclic economic trends.

Following his address to the ILO, President Ramaphosa will travel to Davos Klosters, where he will lead Team South Africa’s participation in the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled from 22 to 25 January.

The 2019 gathering is themed ‘Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. Itbrings together heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1 000 foremost global companies, leaders of international organisations and relevant non-governmental organisations, and cultural, societal and thought leaders, among others.

The Davos discussions will explore how technological advances are impacting on or giving rise to new systems of health, transportation, communication, production, distribution and energy, and the changes required in education and other programmes to prepare workers for this economic revolution and accompanying social changes.

It will be a platform for Team South Africa to engage and update the international community, including investors, on the path of renewal and growth on which the country has embarked.

Team South Africa will showcase investment and trade opportunities, while contributing to global dialogue on key issues facing humanity and emerging key opportunities.

India State visit

Following the conclusion of the WEF programme, President Ramaphosa is set to travel to New Delhi, India, for a State visit scheduled for Friday.

The President, who will be accompanied by a business delegation, will use the visit to further enhance trade relations between the two nations. The President will be honoured as Chief Guest at India’s 70th Republic Day Celebrations.

South Africa and India share a common vision on a range of global issues and domestic challenges.

Many of the common foreign policy objectives that both countries share are pursued multilaterally, especially through South-South initiatives and close cooperation existing within the G20, BRICS, IBSA, and IORA.

The two nations will further solidify relations with agreements on higher education and training, arts and culture, home affairs, defence and energy, among others.

The two enjoy a strategic partnership and bilateral relations anchored in a deep and shared history of friendship and solidarity. 

India is currently South Africa’s second largest trading partner in Asia and ranks among South Africa’s top 10 trade partners.

In 2017, bilateral trade reached R107 billion (approximately $8 billion). Trade for the period January to November 2018 totalled R101 billion.

Indian investments in South Africa currently stand at US$8 billion and have created an estimated 18 000 jobs.

There are 130 Indian companies that have invested in South Africa, including TATA (automobiles and hotels), Mahindra (automobiles), Cipla (pharmaceuticals) and the Bank of India. South Africa’s total investment in India increased to R10.3 billion (approximately $800 million) in 2017.

South African companies that have invested in India, include Sasol, FirstRand, Old Mutual, ACSA, Shoprite and Nandos. -