Local companies will today dip their toes in the Indian market as they participate in the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) Outward Trade and Investment Mission to New Delhi and Mumbai.
The trade and investment mission is aimed at increasing the trade of value-added goods and investment between South Africa and India.
Minister Rob Davies said the five-day mission will introduce South African companies to the Indian market. The mission will also give companies the opportunity to obtain export orders and generate trade leads.
“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,” said Minister Davies, ahead of the start of the trade mission.
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 mission will comprise 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.
Davies said the mission is also part of the dti’s Integrated National Export Strategy (Export 2030) which is 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.
The trade mission follows on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state visit to the south Asian country in January. The state visit was aimed at boosting economic and political relations between South Africa and India.
“The appetite of India businesspeople willing to do business with South Africa was whetted by the visit. 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 the Minister.
Total bilateral trade between South Africa has increased significantly from R66 billion in 2012 to R107 billion in 2017.
The dti said that while 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,” said the dti.
The trade mission will conclude on Friday.