South Africa and India must continue to prioritise business and trade partnerships to address their shared economic challenges, South African President Jacob Zuma has said.
Zuma was addressing a business lunch in New Delhi on the sidelines of the two-day Third Africa-India Forum Summit which ends on Friday.
“India is currently South Africa’s third largest trading partner in Asia and ranks among South Africa’s top six trading partners globally,” the President said.
Trade between South Africa and India came to US$11.8 billion for the 2014/15 financial year, which was a drop from the US$15.7 billion of 2011/12.
However, the President said he was concerned that South Africa’s exports to India comprised mainly raw commodities, whereas India exported processed products to the African state.
“We should also view South Africa-India trade and investment within the broader context of Africa-India trade.
“The potential for growth posed by the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, especially given India’s competitive advantages and traditional trade links with Africa, could provide further impetus for enhanced investment activity and joint ventures,” the President said.
As of March 2015, India had a cumulative investment of US$7 billion in South Africa, creating 10,000 jobs.