Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe on mission to increase trade between India and South Africa
19 Mar 2012
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in the Republic of South Africa, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe, says developing nations such as South Africa and India should seize opportunities presented by the global economy to chart a path that will ensure that there is mutual benefit and improved trade between countries.
She was speaking at a business seminar attended by more than 100 businesspeople from South Africa and India in Chennai, India, today to kick-start the third edition of the annual Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI). The purpose of ITI is to promote trade and investment opportunities in the targeted sectors in the two countries.
“Trade between South African and India has received a lot of attention in recent years. The rationale for this is rooted in the enhancement of South-South economic integration and cooperation. The broadening of economic space through larger consumer markets gives developing countries such as South Africa and India the opportunity to develop economies of scale, increase their competitiveness and become global competitors.This ITI seeks to amplify our economic relations. It is about broadening and enhancing economic cooperation between our countries,” said Thabethe.
She added that the South African government was striving to enhance economic growth that would lead to an increase in the creation of decent, sustainable jobs, advance the fight against poverty and accelerate economic transformation.
“South Africa and India have already agreed to increase their cooperation in energy, technology, trade and investment. This represents a significant step forward in strengthening our efforts to promote long term, sustainable economic growth. It also provides for diversification beyond our traditional strengths in commodities and non-tradable services. Our task as government is to ensure the necessary enabling environment is in place for business between our two countries to thrive. We are doing this through numerous programmes, such as this investment and trade initiative which will lead to an enhancement of our close political and economic relationships,” added Thabethe.
Deputy Minister Thabethe is accompanied in India by a business delegation comprising of 45 businesspeople from various sectors, including Pharmaceuticals, Information and Communication Technology, Energy, Manufacturing and Infrastructure, Agro processing, Beneficiated Metals & Mining Technology, Automotive Components and Electro-technical. The South African delegation proceeds to Mumbai on Wednesday where seminars and business-to-business meetings will also be held before returning home on Saturday.
Last year the trade relations between India and South Africa touched a high of $11,125.57 million. Trade soared in the areas of transport equipment, pharmaceuticals and drugs, engineering goods, textiles, gems, precious and non-precious metals between the two nations.
Major investors include Tata (Automobiles, IT, Hospitality, and Ferrochrome plant), UB Group (Breweries, Hotels), Mahindra (Automobiles) and a number of pharmaceutical companies, including Ranbaxy and Cipla. South African investments into India were led by SAB Miller (Breweries), ACSA (upgradation of Mumbai Airport), SANLAM and Old Mutual (Insurance), ALTECH (Set-Top Boxes), Adcock Ingram (Pharmaceuticals), Rand Merchant Bank (Banking).
Sidwell Medupe (Departmental Spokesperson)
Cell: 079 492 1774
Tel: 012 394 1650
Ms Seema Sardha
Cell: +91 9987346622
Tel: +91 22 23513725 / 23523726
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
19 Mar 2012
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