India, South Africa business forum meets in Delhi Monday

August 28th, 2011 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) India and South Africa will discuss a host of developmental issues, including increased trade ties, with industry ministers of both countries jointly addressing top business leaders here Monday.

This will be the second meeting of the India South Africa CEO Forum. The first forum meeting took place in Johannesburg in August 2010.

“Given that both our economies are placed in similar positions in the global economic order, and also the fact that both our governments are faced with similar socio-economic imperatives, it would be most appropriate for our governments and industry to step up the bilateral cooperation,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in a statement Sunday.

The business forum is jointly chaired by Ratan Tata of the Tata Group and South African mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe.

Sharma said the two countries will seek to “intensify knowledge sharing and jointly address developmental issues”.

The two ministers will also meet to have bilateral discussions. Both countries are still negotiating a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement.

During the first India South Africa CEO Forum the members had agreed to form jointly explore business opportunities in Africa in diverse fields such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, food processing, automobiles, components, biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, infrastructure, roads and railways.

Indian companies have been looking at South Africa as a gateway to the whole African continent.

Major Indian investors in South Africa include Tata Group, Apollo , Vedanta Resources, Godrej, Mahindra & Mahindra, Essar, Dabur, Emami, the UB Group, Suzlon, Videocon, Kirloskars and pharmaceutical majors including Dr. Reddy’s Lab and CIPLA.

According to provisional figures, in the year 2010-11, there has been a 37.64 percent increase in bilateral trade at $10.64 billion with export of $4.16 billion and imports of $6.48 billion.

“Investments from and into South Africa has also seen substantial rise. Indian High Commission figures put the cumulative value of Indian investment in South Africa at $ 6.7 billion,” the Indian commerce ministry said in a statement.

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