South Africa-India business summit to strengthen trade, investment

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India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu says the two countries can benefit from each other economically.

“First time we are discovering what we can do together, something which will benefit SA and will benefit India. There is entrepreneurship on both sides which has done so well in some sectors. SA has huge natural resources, so is India. So can we use the same technology in India? India has done very well in pharmaceuticals, can we use those technologies that knowledge for SA? Can we use that ideas for developments of SME in SA?”

South Africa and India are holding their first business summit, under way at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg.

The two-day event, themed United by Legacy, Unified for Prosperity, is aimed at maximizing the potential of the economic and commercial partnership between the two countries. The summit will be marked by an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will be signed between Invest South Africa and Invest India.

Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies explains, “South Africa is seeking a big push on investment. We both see that there are opportunities. We can now make a big push to expand mutual beneficial relations. We are seeking in a number of sectors work that will happen and that we have identified platforms and opportunities for further engagements along the way so that we keep up the pressure as ministers to make sure that whatever happens in terms of business people actually does translate into meaningful economic relations.”

It aims to strengthen trade and investment ties between South Africa and India.

It all began two years ago, when the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to South Africa on a state visit for the first time. He and then President Jacob Zuma made a commitment. They promised to double trade and do investment between the two countries.

Some of India’s top Chief Executive Officers are expected to attend the business summit. The Indians also want to discuss plans to establish training and innovation centres in South Africa.

South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Rob Davies and the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan will be the main representatives of South Africa at the summit.

The Summit kicks off on Sunday evening with a gala dinner and continues on Monday with both closed door and plenary discussions.