SA, India to strengthen relations

Thursday, January 16, 2020

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor will together with her Indian counter-part, Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar co-chair the South Africa - India Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) on Friday, in New Delhi, in India.

The JMC is a structured mechanism which coordinates bilateral relations between South Africa and India at the level of Foreign Ministers.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the department said relations between South Africa and India have strengthened and deepened considerably since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in November 1993.

“Besides close people-to-people contact, the relationship enjoys a strong commercial element with bilateral trade for 2018 totalling R110 billion. Furthermore, close cooperation exists between the two countries in a number of multilateral fora, most notably within BRICS, IBSA and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA),” said the department.

During the JMC, the Ministers will reflect on ways to enhance trade and to remove barriers in order to grow exports and investment, especially in the financial services, agro-processing, mining equipment and technology and pharmaceutical sectors.

“The JMC will also reflect on ways to grow tourism flows as Indian tourist arrivals approach 100 000 per annum. In this regard, a Plan of Action will be adopted in terms of the South Africa-India Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tourism Cooperation, as well as the implementation of the Visa Simplification Agreement which was signed in December 2019,” said the department.

Cooperation in the area of human resource development will also be on the agenda of the meeting with the envisaged finalisation of a MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education and a Recognition of Mutual Qualifications Agreement.

The Ministers will also reflect on foreign policy issues of mutual concern and consider closer cooperation between South Africa and India on international issues and within multilateral organisations. –