India, SA acknowledge valuable contribution of BRICS, IBSA

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Pretoria (South Africa), July 8 (ANI): Acknowledging the valuable contribution of BRICS and IBSA in reforming the global financial and economic architecture, India and South Africa on Friday agreed to continue with the institution-building momentum in BRICS with an aim to further bridge the investment-gap in key economic sectors. In a joint statement issued following bilateral talks, both countries also expressed satisfaction at the operationalization of the New Development Bank (NDB). Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Pretoria on a four nation Africa visit, and South African President Jacob Zuma led their respective delegations for the talks. "Cognizant of the BRICS economies significant role in stabilising global economic growth in challenging times, the leaders agreed to further enhance cooperation and coordination within BRICS with a view to improve global political and economic governance, and to re-double the voice of emerging markets in international affairs," both nations said in the joint statement. Both nations further reiterated the commitment to work together to enhance intra-BRICS trade, investment and financial cooperation. Describing the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) as "an effective Forum, embodying the democratic-spirit of three large democracies", India-South Africa reaffirmed their strong commitment to further consolidate the IBSA process. Both sides applauded the good work carried out by the IBSA Fund in sharing experiences, expertise, and capacities with the developing countries in a South-South Development and Cooperation framework. They noted that the IBSA Fund Agreement has been agreed by all parties and is ready for adoption. Both sides agreed that South Africa will host the 8th Trilateral Commission Meeting and the 6th IBSA Summit, which will be hosted by India next year. Furthermore, on Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), President Zuma noted that IORA gained new momentum when India took over as Chair and committed that it will be South Africa's objective to ensure that this momentum is sustained during its incoming Chairpersonship. Both leaders noted the importance of the Ocean Economy, growing interest by other countries to join the organisation as dialogue partners, and the strategic nature the Indian Ocean can play in developing the Region. India and South Africa today inked three Memoranda of Understanding and one Programme of Cooperation to take their "partnership in progress" one more step forward. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a ceremonial welcome at the Union Building of Pretoria, which was followed by one-on-one private conversation with President Jacob Zuma and delegation-level talks. In the evening, he visited the Nelson Mandela Foundation and participated in the India-South Africa Business Meet. He also met prominent anti-apartheid revolutionaries and their families. Prime Minister Modi arrived here on Thursday evening on the second leg of his four-nation five-day tour to the African continent with an aim to enhance mutual cooperation and understanding on major issues of common interest. (ANI)