SA and India plan to increase mutual trade

Minister Rob Davies - [Google Images]

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has welcomed the SA-India Business Summit as offering increased economic opportunities between the two Brics countries.

Davies told Business Report on Monday that South Africa needed partners on its new growth path which was evidenced by the increasing consumer confidence, adding that the country was an emerging market of choice in 2018.

He said India and South Africa should develop strong links to address issues pertaining to inclusivity and curbing the scourge of poverty and inequality.

Davies said Indians had identified South Africa’s lucrative mining sector as one of the sectors they would like to invest in.

Davies said he would engage further with India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on increasing South African companies footprints in India.

“India and South Africa plan to increase trade between the two nations to about $20billion (R248bn) in the next five years,” he said.

There are currently 130 Indian companies doing business in the country, employing about 18000 South Africans and injecting about $8bn into the local economy.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the two countries need to address inequalities within their borders. Gordhan said the gap between the rich and the poor needed to be narrowed for any meaningful development to take place.

Ministers from the Southern African Development Community also pledged to open doors for more investments.

Botswana Investment, Trade and Industry Minister, Bogolo Kenewendo, said the country was looking at a new growth frontier that would catapult it to the next stage of development.

“Botswana and Africa at large are going through an economic revolution that requires that we work as partners,” Kenewendo said.

 “We invite the Indian and South African business community to come to Botswana and see opportunities that exist.”

Swaziland Economic Planning and Development Minister, Prince Hlangusemphi, said they were changing government policies to make sure that the environment “is good for our friends from India”.

Prabhu said India’s commitment to creating a lasting relationship with Africa was “very strong”.