India and South Africa on Thursday pushed for more investment and trade ties between the two countries by leveraging industrial and commercial synergies towards increased global competitiveness. South African president Jacon Zuma,who visited the commerical capital of the country on his first trip to Asia,called India as an ally in trade and investment opportunities,spoke about the long-term linkages that will assist South Africa to compete in the global economy and even touched South-South co-operation.
We believe that in India,South Africa has an ally whose trade and investment opportunities provide the necessary synergies and complementarities in services,products and technologies, he said in Mumbai. It is our conviction that these linkages will assist South Africas long-term capacity to effectively compete in the global economy. We have identified India as a strategic partner for South Africa with good reason. He said the visit seeks to confirm the historic significance of our relations and an unfaltering desire and commitment to ensuring that bilateral lations are broadened,deepened and strengthened.
As part of this initiative,top business honchos of both the countries launched a new CEOs’ Forum to push their bilateral trade beyond $10 billion by 2012 and boost the mutual flow of investments. The forum,launched by the South African President and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma,has Tata group chief Ratan Tata as its head from the Indian side. In support of this (boosting trade),initiatives around promotion activities,aligning regulatory environments and addressing barriers to trade are being explored, Zuma told business honchos from both the countries. Zuma,on a three-day visit to India,is accompanied by a business delegation of over 200 companies and several cabinet ministers.
Zuma also underlined importance of the unprecedented India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) initiative. As a component of IBSA,the three countries are focussing on establishing a framework that would support increased trade and investment amongst the three countries, he said.