Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad to host Indian Counterpart, Minister
of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma
Tshwane - South African Deputy
Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad will hold bilateral political and economic discussions
with his Indian counterpart, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma
in Tshwane on Friday, 24 March 2006.
Discussions between Deputy Minister
Pahad and his counterpart come within the context of South Africa's priority to
promote South-South co-operation for increased market access, trade and investment.
In this regard, South Africa together with India and Brazil constitutes the India-Brazil-South
Africa (IBSA) Forum, a historic partnership of countries of the South that aims
to achieve the afore-listed objectives in the interests of eradicating poverty
and underdevelopment while creating a better life for all people of the South.
on the agenda of discussions between Deputy Minister Pahad and Minister of State
for External Affairs, Anand Sharma are expected to include, among others:
status of bilateral political and economic discussions between both countries
that are governed through the Joint Ministerial Commission and the South Africa
- India CEO's Business Forum;
- A briefing on developments in the SADC region
and the Indian sub-continent, including the first India-SADC Forum scheduled for
Namibia in April 2006;
- Developments in the operationalisation of the institutions
of the African Union and the implementation of NEPAD, including the current status
of the Pan-African e-connectivity project; and
- Developments within IBSA.
CEO's Business Forum
Africa CEOs Business Forum was launched in October 2004, after President Kalam's
State Visit to South Africa. Consisting of several Indian and South African businesses,
this Forum aims to assist in stimulating trade and investment between the two
The launch of the Indo-South Africa CEO Forum was attended by
leaders of a number of top companies from both countries, amongst them Mr Ratan
Tata who is also a member of President Mbeki's International Economic Advisory
The second meeting of the CEOs Forum in Mumbai on 2 May 2005,
identified the following areas of co-operation: Mining & minerals, gems &
jewellery, power generation, infrastructure development, information and communication
technology, pharmaceuticals, HIV/AIDS, and tourism. It was proposed that Working
Groups be set up for the areas that have not been covered by the existing Working
Groups. The Working Groups that are already in place include ITC, Energy, Infrastructure,
Education and Skill Development, Mining, Auto components and Tourism.
The main Indian products exported to South Africa are: motor-cars
and vehicles for the transport of goods, rice, medicaments, cotton, yarn finished
leather goods, machinery and instruments, handmade yarn fabrics, spices, handicrafts
and handmade carpets.
Main products imported from South Africa are chemicals,
gold, silver, coal and briquettes, iron and steel, inorganic and organic fertiliser,
pulp and waste paper, and precious and semi-precious stones.
South Africa and India continues to grow. In 2005, total bilateral trade approached
a level of R14.5 billion, with imports from India at R7.02 billion and exports
to India at R7.5 billion. India currently ranks as South Africa's 13th most important
export market and the 13th most important import market.
The sheer size
of the Indian economy (14th largest manufacturing economy in the world) gives
it an influential position in the global market in which South Africa has a key
interest. Since South Africa and India have similar developmental challenges,
their collective capacity in bargaining and voicing concerns that affect their
economies in international forums is made highly effective. As a key emerging
regional economy, India provides a platform for the re-integration of the South
African economy with that of South Asia.
Opportunities for closer co-operation
in the following sectors have been identified and form part of South Africa's
trade development agenda in India:
Capital equipment (construction
and related infrastructure): SA Airports companies made a successful bid for
the upgrading of the Mamba Airport. (However, there is some controversy around
this bid concerning the tender process.) During the President's Visit to India,
former Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Yashwant Sinha expressed India interests
on receiving assistance in areas of electricity/power generation as well as mining
Agro-processed products: SA firms wish to share expertise
in food processing with India.
Autos and components: TATA Motors
has already established a presence in South Africa and Mahindra Motors has also
expressed interest to commence exporting vehicles to South Africa.
Engineering and financial services are increasingly attracting attention.
India's information communication technology prowess (software development)
has attracted attention and South Africa has begun to engage relevant firms. Tie-ups
and memoranda of understanding have been signed between the two nations. South
Africa views India's technical pool in ICT as holding promise for future co-operation
between the two countries. Co-operation in space technology offers further opportunities.
and Technology: India's technical manpower pool has been noted as providing
impetus for closer co-operation with South Africa, especially in software development.
Other areas of assistance are Biopharma and Biotechnology as noted by the President
during the visit to the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad
in October 2003.
Health: South Africa would like to learn more about
the traditional knowledge system development (institutionalising traditional knowledge
SMME: Co-operation in SMME development, jewellery
and between the two countries' CSIRs is ongoing.
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa
on 082 990 4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152