India, South Africa must work together for shared growth: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the constantly growing Indian investment into South Africa has approached 10 billion dollars, creating more than 20,000 jobs locally.
Addressing the India-South Africa Business Forum in the presence of South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Prime Minister pointed out that bilateral trade was on the upswing, having crossed the $ 10 billion mark in 2017-18.
“Two major business initiatives in 2018 have helped this along. One was the India-South Africa Business Summit held in Johannesburg in April 2018. The other was Invest in India Business Forum, also in Johannesburg in November 2018,” he added.
While contributing to President Ramaphosa’s efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment as well as for the creation of over one million jobs for the youth in three years, India will be happy to share its experience in policy reforms and setting up ground level agencies, Mr Modi said.
“We encourage even more investment by Indian companies in South Africa and are confident that more South African companies will also enter the Indian market,” he added.
“I assure you that New India would welcome you to look at all available opportunities, particularly in Food & Agro processing, Deep mining, Defence, Fin-tech, Insurance and Infrastructure sectors,” the Prime Minister said.
“Likewise, India could also partner with South Africa in Start-ups, Health care & Pharma, Bio-tech, IT and IT enabled sectors.
“We are delighted to be a part of the South Africa skills story through the recent launch of the Gandhi Mandela Skills Institute. This initiative seeks to empower the youth,” he said.
“Another important collaboration between our two countries could be in the Gems and Jewellery sector. Both countries could explore avenues for direct procurement of diamond.
“It will ensure economies of scale, and also reduce the cost for both buyers and sellers. South Africa could also join hands with India in our campaign for New and Renewable Energy, specifically through the "International Solar Alliance,” he added.
Simplification of the existing visa regime for businessmen and tourists, besides direct connectivity, would further ease business and people-to-people exchanges, Mr Modi said.
Referring to the Indian economy, he said, at $ 2.6 trillion, it was the fastest growing major economy of the world. “We are on our way to becoming the fifth largest economy globally. India has jumped to the 77th position in the latest edition of World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report – improving 65 places in last four years.
“We are one of the top FDI destinations listed by UNCTAD. But, we are not satisfied. On a daily basis, we are making necessary changes and reforms in important sectors of the economy.
“Our special programmes such as Make in India, Digital India and Start-Up India have caught the imagination of the world,” Mr Modi said.
“Our industry has progressed towards Industry Four Point Zero and other innovative technologies including Artificial Intelligence, 3-D Printing, Robotics. The Government is making all efforts to increase the living standards of our 1.3 billion people, who form one-sixth of the humanity.
“We are committed to building a ‘New India’ with next generation infrastructure and with emphasis on speed, skill and scale,” he said.
“There is huge untapped potential in the India-South Africa partnership. We must work together for a new era of shared growth and prosperity for the benefit of our two countries and peoples,” he added.
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