Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. File photo

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Tuesday that it would provide a group of companies with an opportunity to explore trade and investment opportunities in India when it leads the Outward Trade and Investment Mission to New Delhi and Mumbai from 4-8 March 2019.

“One of the dti’s strategic goals is to grow the South African manufacturing sector in order to promote industrial development, job creation, investment and exports.  To achieve this objective, the department embarks on international missions in order to promote exports of South African value-added goods, and services to increase market share in markets located in various regions of the world. This will enable South African businesses to access global markets which will lead to them increasing their production, thereby growing the SA economy and creating the much-needed employment opportunities,” said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies.

The DTI said the purpose of the mission was to increase the trade of value-added goods and investment between South Africa and India. 

"The companies’ trip is funded by the DTI through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country," the department said.

"The mission will comprise of trade and investment seminars, business-to-business meetings and site visits. Companies which will participate in the mission are operating in the agro-processing, defence equipment, electro-technical and leather sectors."

According to Davies the mission will assist South African companies to gain entry into the Indian market. It will also be an opportunity to obtain export orders and generate trade leads.

He added that the mission was also part of the dti’s Integrated National Export Strategy (Export 2030) which was the country's blueprint towards ensuring export promoting industrialisation to spur economic growth.  

"The strategy aims to increase South Africa's capacity for exporting diversified and value-added goods and services to various global markets."

Davies said the mission could not have come at a more opportune time as President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook a state visit to India last month with the aim of boosting economic and political relations between SA and India. Trade and Investment opportunities that were there to be explored by companies from the two countries featured prominently during the visit.

“The appetite of India businesspeople willing to do business with South Africa was whetted by the visit. Therefore, our businesspeople who will be participating in the mission will find the Indian companies ready and willing to engage concretely with the South Africans on matters related to trade and investment opportunities that can be explored through forging of new partnerships and joint ventures,” said Davies.

The department said a total bilateral trade with South Africa had increased significantly from R66 billion in 2012 to R107 billion in 2017. 

"Although South Africa enjoys a positive trade balance, the country’s exports to India are still dominated by primary commodities in the form of coal and to an extent gold while imports from India are mostly manufactured products. This indicates a critical need and an opportunity for South Africa to increase the export of the country's manufactured products."

- African News Agency (ANA)