President Zuma to undertake State Visit to India

President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by Mrs Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, will pay a State Visit to India from 02 to 05 June 2010.

This is the President’s first official visit to Asia since becoming President of the Republic of South Africa in May 2009.

The objective of the visit is to deepen the strategic partnership between South Africa and India; strengthen and broaden economic and commercial interaction between the two countries; expand South-South interaction with a view to strengthen the voice of the developing world and its capacity to address the needs of its people, and to demonstrate appreciation for the importance South Africa attaches to its political, economic and cultural relationship with India.

During the visit three Agreements are expected to be signed:

  • A memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation;
  • An amended Bilateral Air Services Agreement; and
  • A Memorandum on Mutual Cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs of India.

In spite of the fact that South Africa's trade relations with India have flourished since the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1993, trade statistics with India continue to reflect the potential that still exists for expanding the commercial relationship. President Zuma is to address South African and Indian business representatives with a view to broadening bilateral economic ties. A business delegation of more than 200 from South Africa will also visit India in support of the President.

Trade between the two countries increased more than fivefold between 2003 (R6.5 billion) and 2009. Total bilateral trade volumes in 2009 amounted to R33.5 billion.

Internationally, South Africa and India share several common interests, including the reform of the UN and Bretton Woods systems, cooperation in the IBSA Dialogue Forum, the G20 and on Climate Change. South Africa and India also share positions on international threats to security, including terrorism, religious extremism, trafficking in drugs, small arms and human beings and infectious diseases such as the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

Given the wide range of issues that would be discussed by members of the President’s delegation, the State Visit provides an opportunity to give meaningful expression to deepen and broaden the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The President will be accompanied by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations & Cooperation; Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries; Minister Sibusiso Ndebele, Minister of Transport; Minister Rob Davies, Minister of Trade & Industry; Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Defence & Military Veterans; Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, Minister of Communications; and Minister Barbara Hogan, Minister of Public Enterprises.

The President and Mrs Ntuli-Zuma are currently in Nice, France, for the Africa-France Summit and are scheduled to leave for India later today, 31 May.

For enquiries please contact Spokesperson for the President Vincent Magwenya on +27 72 715 0024 and Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Saul Kgomotso Molobi, on +27 12 351 1000, +27 82 940 1647 or e-mail him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
PRETORIA
0001

31 May 2010

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