Business delegations from South Africa and India have exchanged views on how the governments of both countries can partner with the private sector to create a conducive environment for business to flourish.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently in South Africa, where a Business Forum was held on Friday. At the end of the forum, two co-chairpersons representing South Africa and India reported back the outcomes of the CEOs’ Forum to the government heads. A CEOs’ Forum was held during the day ahead of the Business Forum.

South African State Security Minister David Mahlobo said about eight Memoranda of Understanding were signed during the forum. He urged South African and Indian businesses to expand cooperation in major projects in both countries and in Africa at large to optimise their capabilities.

Mahlobo said the Business Forum aimed to strengthen economic ties between the two countries through the regular interaction of its members and continuous dialogue with government.

Co-chairperson Vivian Reddy represented South Africa. He said the value of trade conducted in 2015 was worth R94 billion. He said the CEOs’ Forum highlighted issues relating to Black Economic Empowerment, among others, during its meeting. In the same vein, he said trade between Africa and India has to be increased.

Representing India, co-chairperson Adi Godrej said the forum highlighted opportunities in sectors such as financial services, pharmaceutical and net care, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure, energy and education.

“Deep mining is an important area of collaboration between India and South Africa. Cooperation in this regard is underway in the Indian market. South African companies must further look for opportunities in the deep mining sector in India,” he said.

The training of nurses and other medical personal should also be explored, along with sourcing of pharmaceutical products from India.

“We look forward to working with the governments of both countries to ease business between each other,” said Godrej.

President Jacob Zuma said South Africa and India face the common challenge of turning the legacy of underdevelopment and poverty into sustained economic growth and socio-economic improvement.

“We have to do this in a world in which economic power is still very unevenly balanced between developed and developing countries. Our engagement, through forums of this nature, reflects our common determination to take our destiny into our own hands.

“Our two countries hold enormous trade and investment potential that needs to be unleashed through closer strategic cooperation. The South Africa-India Business Forum will serve as a platform to achieving our goals.

“We need to explore ways and means of continuing, increasing and diversifying our trade and investment initiatives in the respective economies,” said Zuma.

Source: Nam News Network