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Cooperation in energy, trade; Major focus of PM’s Africa trip


Cooperation in energy, trade; Major focus of PM’s Africa trip

Cooperation in energy, trade; Major focus of PM’s Africa trip
Photo credit: PTI

Deepening cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, maritime security, trade and investment, agriculture and food will be major focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-day visit to four key countries of African continent beginning Thursday.

The four countries – Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, are considered gateway to many landlocked African nations and Modi, on his first bilateral visit, will try to bring a new momentum to India’s ties with the continent where China has been trying to increase its clout.

The Prime Minister’s visit comes within weeks of President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari travelling to Africa with an aim to strengthen and reinvigorate India’s ties with the nations of the continent.

Briefing the media, Amar Sinha, Secretary, Economic Relations, in the Ministry of External Affairs said a number of pacts will be signed with each of the four countries in a variety of areas during the Prime Minister’s visit.

India imports large quantity of pulses from Africa and, during the visit, a pact with Mozambique is likely to be firmed up for long-term procurement of the commodity beginning with procurement of 100,000 tonnes. The government has been drawing a lot of criticism over the past few months over rising price of pulses.

Under the agreement, India may support a network of farmers in the country who will be given logistical support, technology and seeds and pulses will be procured from them through government agencies.

India will also look at expanding cooperation with Mozambique in the hydrocarbons sector. Mozambique is the third largest exporter of natural gas after Qatar and Australia and a number of Indian companies including ONGC have invested heavily in the hydrocarbons sector in that country.

Modi’s first destination will be Mozambique where he will have bilateral discussions with President Nyusi on July 7. On the second leg of his tour from July 8 to 9, Modi will be in South Africa.

On July 10, the Prime Minister will visit Tanzania and, on the final leg of his trip, he will travel to Kenya.

The Prime Minister will address the Indian community in all the four countries. He will address large gatherings in Johannesburg and Nairobi which have significant number of Indian origin people.

“We are looking at consolidating gains of the India-Africa Forum Summit,” said Sinha.

The Prime Minister’s visit comes within weeks of President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari travelling to Africa.

Media Statement

Minister Rob Davies on the Incoming State Visits by India’s Prime Minister

Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi will be visiting South Africa on 8 July 2016. India is now SA 6th largest trade partner. Trade in 2015 was almost R95 billion. Trade with India represented 4.9% of SA imports and 4.1% of exports.

South Africa’s Trade statistics shows that India’s exports to South Africa increased from R29 billion in 2011 to R54 billion in 2015, while South Africa’s exports to India increased from R24 billion in 2011 to R41 billion. The trade surplus is in favour of India. Efforts are underway to promote SA exports of especially value added products.

In order to deal with the trade imbalance, the dti has undertaken outward missions to India including:

  • India International Trade Fair (IITF), November 2015 (funded by the dti’s EMIA Scheme).

  • The 7th Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI), February 2016 (funded by the dti’s EMIA Scheme). The following sectors were targeted for promotion: agro processing, beneficiated metals and mining technology, automotive components, electro-technical and logistics

  • Defence Expo India, March 2016 facilitated by the Aerospace, Marine, and Defence (AMD) Export Council.

The Prime Minister is expected to be accompanied by a high level business delegation. The Business Forum will take place at CSIR on Friday, 8 July 2016. The Business Forum will be preceded by the meeting of the South Africa-India CEOs Forum.

There is considerable interaction between South Africa and India in the multilateral context. This includes regular meetings on IBSA, BRICS and India-Africa Forum Summit.

Post our democracy, India’s investment into South Africa has been in numerous sectors such as in the mining industry, financial services, pharmaceutical sector and manufacturing. South Africa has successfully attracted investment from large Indian multinationals such as Tata, Wipro, Cipla and Apollo tyres amongst others.

Companies such as Tata and CIPLA have been early movers and have invested in different projects in South Africa and have a good experience of South Africa as an investment destination. Tata has invested mining, ICT, hospitality, automotive and energy. CIPLA has for example supported the roll out of ARVs and making medicines more affordable to patients. Improving healthcare is one of Government’s key priorities. We welcome CIPLAs expansion and new investment in the value chain of the pharmaceutical sector and look to further investments.

According to the FDI markets, a total of 82 Indian projects in South Africa with a total capital expenditure of R62 billion between January 2003 and January 2016 were recorded from 60 companies. India’s leading sectors were software & IT services (17 projects) and financial services (14 projects). India’s investment in South Africa has created 10 660 jobs.

South African companies have also grown their investments in India with a total of 24 projects. The leading sectors for South Africa’s investment in India were financial sector, machinery and equipment and software and IT services. South Africa investment in India has created 6 981 jobs.

Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry


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