External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

India, South Africa engagement important for preserving peace, security: Sushma Swaraj

ANI | Updated: Jan 19, 2019 15:14 IST

Gandhinagar (Gujarat) Jan 18 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj">Sushma Swaraj here on Saturday said that preserving peace and security and countering terrorism was an important element in the engagement between India and South Africa.
Speaking at 'Africa Day' celebration during Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Swaraj said, "One of the most serious challenges toward international peace and security is the menace of terrorism. Many of the African countries, like India, are victims of terrorism. Consequently, preserving peace and security, countering terrorism and extremism is an important element of our engagement."
Terming the celebration as a "historic occasion" Swaraj said that India has always shared a special bond with the people of Africa.
"We are determined to anchor our partnership on the principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. We take pride in our model of cooperation with Africa which is demand-driven, consultative, and participative, involves local resources, builds capacity and is based on Africa's own prioritisation of its needs," she added.
The minister said Africa has emerged as an important trade and investment partner and India is now the third largest export destination in Arica.
To ease trade between countries, Swaraj said that last year India had announced Duty-Free Tariff Preference and African Continental Free Trade Area that have benefited African nations and contributed towards the steady increase in India's trade figures.
Africa Day was organised on the second day of Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Swaraj added that this is the first time an entire day was being dedicated to an entire continent. The occasion is also significant as it is being held during the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji and 100th birth anniversary of the iconic African leader Nelson Mandela.
Vibrant Gujarat Summit was conceptualised in 2003 by the Prime Minister, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat with an aim to re-establish Gujarat as a preferred investment destination within India.
More than 30,000 national and international delegates including CEOs of major firms from India and abroad are participating in the biennial three-day event in Gandhinagar.
The Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show is being held on a two lakh square meters plot of land situated in Gandhinagar. More than 20 industrial and business sectors will showcase their products at the event.
This mega trade show will continue till January 22 and will be open for general public on the last two days (January 21 and 22).(ANI)