Pretoria, July 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday laid emphasis on industry-to-industry ties between India and South Africa for greater economic gains.
“Industry-to-industry ties can bring rich economic gains, give new shape to our partnership and help us play a robust regional and global role,” Modi said in a joint press statement with South African President Jacob Zuma following delegation-level talks between the two sides here.
Modi said that in the last two decades, the relationship between the two countries has been a story of strong advances and concrete achievements.
“Two-way trade has grown by over 300 per cent in the last 10 years. Indian companies hold strong business interests in South Africa,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that one-fourth of India’s investments in Africa were in South Africa.
“And there is potential to expand our business and investment ties further, especially in the areas of mineral and mining, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, high technology manufacturing and information and communication technology,” he said.
Modi also thanked South Africa for its support for India’s bid for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
In his remarks, President Zuma said that over 100 Indian companies were operating in South Africa and they were playing a “significant role” in the country’s economy and job creation.
“We are looking to diversify South Africa’s exports to India,” he said.
Zuma cited defence sectors, deep mining and renewable energy as areas of bilateral cooperation.
According to him, water management, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure development are areas that hold potential in the future.
Modi arrived in South Africa from Mozambique on Thursday on the second leg of his four-nation tour of Africa.
This is Modi’s first visit to mainland Africa and is also the first prime ministerial visit from India to South Africa since the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in 2013 for the G20 summit in Durban.
Apart from Mozambique and South Africa, Modi will also visit Tanzania and Kenya.