Modi, Ramaphosa to hold bilateral meeting

Narenda Modi
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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in South Africa on Wednesday to attend the BRICS summit. Mr Modi is currently on a three nation tour; having visited Rwanda and Uganda already.

This will also be the first time that Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This meeting is the first since the President assumed charge earlier this year.

South Africa will be Prime Minister Modi’s last stop on his three nation Africa tour  but the most important according to the Indian government.

He is likely to make a pitch for enhanced intra-BRICS trade in light of growing global protectionism.

India is currently fighting US tariffs on steel and aluminium exports at the World Trade Organisation and is set to implement retaliatory tariffs on over 20 US products next month.

India is also likely to welcome President Ramaphosa’s target of $100 billion in new investment over the next five years.

Experts say that New Delhi is keen to push its private sector to invest more in South Africa and in return wants Johannesburg to increase its exports to India.

As of May 2018, investment by Indian companies in the country touched $4 billion.

Apart from the business end of the talks, experts say the issue of the Gupta brothers is also likely to come up.

“It’s in the interest of both India and SA to come to a bilateral arrangement as to what to do with such offenders. I don’t see any differences but a question of harmonising the laws of the two countries,” says Strategic Affairs Experts Professor Harsh Pant.

Friends and family members that the SABC spoke to, say that the Guptas are currently in Dubai, but the brothers make frequent trips to India- especially to their hometown of Saharanpur.

India and South Africa have an extradition treaty.

However, Indian officials say they are yet to receive a request from SA officials- seeking help with tracing the whereabouts of the Gupta family.