Media Statement

30 April 2012

President Jacob Zuma to receive President Pratibha Patil of India

At the invitation of President Jacob Zuma, Her Excellency President Pratibha Patil of the Republic of India will pay a State Visit to South Africa, commencing on Wednesday, 02 May 2012.

During the visit, President Patil will meet President Zuma to discuss bilateral relations between South Africa and India. The two Presidents will also address a Business Forum in Pretoria involving South African business people and their Indian counterparts.

President Patil will be accompanied by a Government Minister, four parliamentarians, various officials and a business delegation.

Since the establishment of full diplomatic relations between South Africa and India in1993, numerous high-level visits have taken place between the two countries, resulting in the conclusion of bilateral agreements in multiple areas of cooperation in the following areas: trade, investment, education, defence, information and communication technology (ICT), health, agriculture, as well as science and technology.

As strategic partners, South Africa and India have laid a solid foundation and created a platform for cooperating in various forums, namely, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa); IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa); BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China – a climate change-specific forum); G-20 and the India-Africa Forum, all of which reinforce the strong bilateral relationship.
Commercial relations have also flourished. In 2011 (November figures), bilateral trade was R48.2billion, with South African exports standing at R21.9 billion and the imports from India at R26.3 billion, with the balance of trade in India’s favour.  The two countries have set a bilateral trade target of R111 billion to be reached by 2014.

In many respects, India and South Africa share a common vision on a range of global issues and domestic challenges. Many of the objectives are being pursued both bilaterally and multilaterally, and are also being given content through South-South initiatives.

Overall, the State visit will provide India and South Africa with an opportunity to strengthen the close relationship that already exists between the peoples of South Africa and India.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974 or Mac Maharaj on 079 879 3203


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