DURBAN - Thursday marked the commencement of the World Tamil Economic Conference which saw the Indian Government presenting King Goodwill Zwelithini with an International Friendship Kingdom award.
In his speech, the king highlighted the need for exchange between South Africa and India and said that the Indian diaspora must attract more Indians to South Africa. He called on King Shaka International Airport a gateway to receive more people from India.
The Indian government had also given the king two 4x4 tractors. The king said that he was overwhelmed by the gesture and thanked the Indian government for their help in trying to boost agriculture.
The South Indian partner for the conference from the Madras Development Corporation, Rajasekaram Sampath said that the purpose for the conference was to create a place for people to network.
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"The purpose of the conference is to have networking between professionals, business people, industries and experts."
According to Sampath 175 Indian companies have offices in South Africa of which 24 are South Indian companies. He added that South Africa and India have had a strategic partnership that has spanned many decades, which was one of the reasons why South Africa is the best place to have the conference.
Sampath estimated that Indian companies have invested billions of rand in Durban. "There has been an R3 billion investment in Durban and many companies have invested in Durban".
The outcome that Sampath hopes for is that people should network, have an understanding of how to start a business, and start economic and business development between South Africa and India.
One of the main points that were highlighted at the conference was the need of developments in technology and that financial technology will be the way of the future.
A member of the Malaysian government said: "We need development and transformation in technology and to focus on financial technology".
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE