Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | updated 03:57 AM IST

President Zuma hails India's cooperation and contribution to South Africa

Updated: Jul 08, 2016 18:46 IST

Pretoria, July 8 (ANI): Asserting that the Indian companies have significantly contributed to economic growth and job creation in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said that the Indian Prime Minister's visit has further enhanced trade investment and commercial ties with India.

"With regards to trade, there are over 100 Indian companies operating in South Africa and they contribute significantly to the economic growth and job creation in our country. The visit enables us to further enhance trade, investment and commercial ties with India. We are looking to increase and diversifying South Africa's exports to India," said President Zuma.

Making a press statement along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the signing the MoUs, President Zuma said India and South Africa have nurtured strong ties and stood together in the common fight against racial subjugation and colonialism.

He said, "India and South Africa enjoy strong relation dating back to the struggle against apartheid. Our two countries also share the honour of having produced two repression icons Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi."

President Zuma also hailed the 'considerable' contribution of Indian community to shape the modern days of Africa and that this is another reason for the deep bonds between the two countries which enjoy strong relations in social, economic, political and global cooperation.

He further said, "We have identified new areas for market access including defence, deep mining, renewable energy and health sector. Future sectors identified for further cooperation among others include processing, pharmaceuticals, mining, water and waste management retail financing infrastructure, development. "

The African President said South Africa-India forum will add further momentum to the ties that exist between the private sectors of the respective countries and that South Africa values cooperation with respect to skills development as a number of African youth study in India.

"We are keen to explore further training opportunities from India as a part of youth empowerment and development," he added.

The president highlighted that the two countries have agreed to expand and improve people to people contact by promoting tourism.

"Simplification of South Africa's visa regime with India is underway. This will promote ease of travel to South Africa by the Indian tourists and business people," he said.

"At a multilateral level the two countries have agreed to enhance cooperation with India in international forums. Especially we think in context of BRICS, IPSA, G-77 plus china, commonwealth and the G-20 among others," he added.

Highlighting the importance of the development of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, President Juma said, "Prime minister of both countries play an instrumental role in shaping the Indian Ocean Rim Association into a vibrant organisation. During South Africa's impending sharing of the association in 2017 we will built on the priority areas began by India to ensure the sustainable use of oceans for the benefit of our people. Indeed we have identified the ocean's economy as a major driver for sustainable economic growth and employment generation under South Africa's Pakiza oceans economy initiative.

President Zumba also hailed India's move in shaping the new development bank the BRICS bank which will be a formidable player in financing much needed infrastructure in Africa and rest of the developing world.

"We hope to open the first regional centre of the development bank dedicates to infrastructure projects in Africa in Johannesburg later in 2016," he said.

The African President also extended support to India's call for reforms in global organisations specifically the United Nations Security Council.

"We continue to work with India closely on reforms of United Nations, specifically the Security Council as well a the international financial institutions," said President Zuma who also congratulated India for active participation in UNS sponsored peace missions in Africa and its continued role in peace security.

On his part, Prime Minister Modi also reiterating the rich historical bond shared between India and South Africa and said there is a strong need for both countries to work closely on international issues and emerging global challenges.

He also thanked Pretoria for supporting India's bid to secure membership in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and said there was immense scope for trade between both countries to grow, laying emphasis on - minerals and mining, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, high-technology manufacturing and information and communication technology - sectors. (ANI)