SA trade mission identifies areas of collaboration in India

Friday, July 19, 2019

The South African Aerospace Maritime and Defence Export Council (SAAMDEC) has identified key areas of collaboration with the Indian defence industry.

Identified areas of collaboration include both small and medium calibre ammunition, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotics and artificial intelligence, among others.

SAAMDEC Chief Executive Officer Sandile Ndlovu said local companies will be identified to pair with Indian companies.

Formed by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), SAAMDEC is tasked with facilitating exports for the defence and related industries sector, and is part of the department’s Outward Selling Mission to India.

The trade mission seeks to increase the trade of South African value-added goods and services into the Indian market.

“From the South African defence industry side we are going to identify local companies that we will pair with Indian companies under the areas that we have identified. These companies will then identify specific areas within these broad topics, work on them and report back to us as the export council.

“As far as opportunities are concerned, the Indian defence industry is diametrically opposed or opposite to our industry. They are working at building their industry. In order to create opportunities for our industry back home we need to make use of the opportunities that are provided by India,” he said on Thursday.

Ndlovu’s comments come as the dti leads a delegation to the south Asian country’s cities of New Delhi and Mumbai.

He said interactions with the Indian industry have been fruitful, and that the export council had the benefit of visiting the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) over the course of the trade mission.

“Their objectives are the same and they both enjoy the support of their government. All in all, the New Delhi leg of this mission has been quite successful because we managed to agree with our Indian counterparts that regarding procurement, they will share current opportunities with ourselves, so that our members can participate where there is a requirement.”

“In some instances, they have already informed us of what the Indian army needs. It is up to our exporters to grab those opportunities,” said Ndlovu.

The second leg of the Outward Selling Mission to India commenced in Mumbai on Thursday with the delegation’s programme comprising of a seminar attended by both the South African and Indian business communities as well as business to business networking sessions, among others.

A total of 27 local companies have participated in the trade mission that got underway on Monday.

The companies’ participation the trade mission that will wrap up on Friday was through the dti’s Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA). The scheme develops export markets for South African products and services and recruits new foreign direct investment into South Africa. -