South Africa and India are set to reach a target of trade worth $15 billion by 2014 and South Africa is keen about Indian investment in the country, its Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe said Wednesday.
"We want to encourage Indian investments in all sectors in South Africa as part of our efforts at job creation. President Jacob Zuma has set a target of five million jobs to be created by 2020," Thabethe told IANS on the sidelines of a seminar here on the occasion of South Africa's Women's Month organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation.
"The latest developments have indicated that India has progressed impressively in the area of informal business development and the Indian institutions that we will be engaging with will present simple solutions for our SMEs, including technology and market development," said Thabethe.
India is one of South Africa's top ten export countries and it is among the top five import countries for South Africa.
Indian companies that are investing in South Africa include Mahindra, Tata, UB Group, a number of pharmaceutical companies like Ranbaxy and CIPLA, IT companies and some investments in the mining sector.
"Several South African companies operate in India, such as the Airports Company South Africa, which is assisting India's Mumbai airport, and Sasol, which is planning to invest," the minister said.
South African investments in India are led by SAB Miller (breweries), SANLAM and Old Mutual (insurance), ALTECH (set-top boxes), Adcock Ingram (pharmaceuticals), Rand Merchant Bank (banking).
The two countries cooperate bilaterally in a number of areas at forums such as the South Africa-India CEOs' Forum, while multi-laterally there is cooperation in the IBSA Business Forum and the BRICS Business Forum, which provide for direct business- to- business interaction and allow for collective consensus building on global policy areas.
From 2002 to 2011, South African exports to India increased by 21 percent, while imports from India went up by 28 percent.
"As for joint ventures between women of both countries, we encourage them in all sectors but certain areas like crafts and jewellery making have been identified as specially favourable for women entrepreneurs," Thabethe said.
"Among new areas of cooperation, agro-processing is of immense potential as both countries have food security as a major priority."
Besides New Delhi, Thabethe will visit Kerala, Chennai and Mumbai.