Moneycontrol
Apr 18, 2018 09:39 PM IST | Source: PTI

India, South Africa hope to double trade by 2021

The India-South Africa Business Summit will be held on April 29-30 at the Sandton Convention Centre here with the theme - 'United by Legacy, Unified for Prosperity' - reflecting the shared histories of the two countries.

India hopes to double trade with South Africa by 2021, Indian High Commissioner Ruchira Kamboj said here today ahead of a high-level business summit.

The India-South Africa Business Summit will be held on April 29-30 at the Sandton Convention Centre here with the theme - 'United by Legacy, Unified for Prosperity' - reflecting the shared histories of the two countries.

The event is being organised by the high commission of India, in partnership with the ministry of commerce and industry, the department of trade and industry, Invest India, Confederation of Indian Industry, and the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency.

South African Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies and his Indian counterpart Suresh Prabhu will deliver the main addresses.

"There will be very important meetings between our trade ministers and the India-South Africa CEOs' Forum, with core captains of industry from India and South Africa discussing issues that vex or are perhaps irritants in this relationship and how we can take the relationship further," Kamboj said.

"This is the first such Business Summit ever to held in South Africa or in India. The entire focus is to maximise the potential of the economic relationship and to double trade figures from now to 2021," Kamboj said.

"Trade figures between our countries stand roughly at USD 10 billion. We are confident that there is potential to double this figure. There are many sectors that our countries can cooperate in," she said.

Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) Group Executive 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. In our trade, we export mainly raw materials and we are trying to encourage our companies to export value-added products, and this is what we also want to do with India. We will be concentrating on this at the summit, and India will also do the same," Mathema said.

This conference will be a build-up to an international investment conference to be convened in September with the aim of raising USD 100 billion in FDI within the next five years, as announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa this week.

Seven parallel breakaway sessions will focus on start-ups, and automotive, health care, pharmaceuticals, mining, agro-processing, women in business and the fourth industrial Revolution, which have been identified as sectors with potential for growth in a bilateral context.

On the opening evening there will be a unique cultural event paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, produced by South African UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Gavin Rajah.
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