SA, India take bilateral relations to new level

Friday, January 25, 2019

While South Africa and India enjoy good relations, there is scope to grow bilateral economic relations, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“During our deliberations, the Prime Minister and I were in agreement that considerable scope exists for our two countries to grow our bilateral economic relationship. While trade has increased significantly over the last few years, and India is currently our second largest trading partner in Asia, there are a number of areas of future cooperation,” said President Ramaphosa on Friday.

The President accompanied by a delegation of Cabinet Ministers and senior officials, is in India on a State visit to the South Asian country.

The two countries, said the President, can cooperate in areas including agro-processed goods, defence procurement, mining equipment and technology and cooperation in the financial services sector.

During his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the President also reviewed the existing cordial bilateral relations between South Africa and India, as well as the close cooperation within a number of multilateral groupings including BRICS, IBSA, the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the G20.

“In order to ensure concrete deliverables, the Prime Minister and I concluded this morning a Three-Year Strategic Programme of Cooperation aimed at deepening the bilateral engagement between India and South Africa and ensuring that a result-orientated partnership benefits the people of both countries,” he said.

The two leaders have instructed Ministers and officials to commence immediate implementation of this programme to take SA and India’s bilateral relationship to a new level.

President Ramaphosa is the chief guest at India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations on Saturday.

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

The President is due to address a business forum later this afternoon. -