A delegation from Gujarat has ended a series of meetings in three cities in South Africa, buoyant about increased participation by trade and business from the country at the Vibrant Gujarat 2019 Global Summit in January.
"We are hoping that South Africa will be at number two on the list of partner countries at the summit," delegation leader Jagdish Prasad Gupta, Principal Secretary in the Gujarat government told delegates at a summit at the Sandton Convention Centre here at the end of the tour last week.
The delegation, which included executives for top Indian companies like Tata, Reliance Industries, KPMG and CII, also visited Durban and Cape Town.
"This event is not just about India or Gujarat state, but rather a win-win situation for us and you. At the last event, more than 100 countries participated, more than 25,000 delegates from 116 countries visited, including two Heads of State from Africa; and there were more than 20 ministerial delegations. So, it's a summit with great opportunities if you want to export, invest or explore," Gupta said.
He said the summit was also a forum for generating innovative ideas.
"At the last event in 2017, seven Nobel laureates proposed new and thought-provoking ideas which can change the world," he said.
Commenting on a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Invest India and the South African Investment Agency, Gupta said there was lots of complementarity between South Africa and Gujarat for business and investment.
Adding to this, Muzi Mathema, group executive in the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, said that his province accounted for two-thirds of South Africa's trade with India, mostly in manufactured goods, some textiles and jewellery from India, with a lot of gold going into India.
But Mathema also expressed some disappointment at the lack of exploiting the tremendous growth potential that existed.
"The basis for that is that India is the seventh largest economy in the world and we are the largest South African provincial economy as the economic hub of the country, so there is scope for a lot more. We also have a very strong post-colonial relationship through our BRICS interaction, so there is scope to improve that level of trade in areas such agro processing and vehicle components" he said.
"Apart from goods and services, there is also a lot of scope in skills transfer and technology transfer that can happen between our two countries," he said.
Mathema said his organisation would support the organisers as they explored the idea of making South Africa a partner state instead of a visiting state.
"We will play our role, as we always do as a development agency, to ensure that Gauteng and the country at large support this. We already have an MoU with Invest India and so there is already a lot of momentum in improving trade and investment between our two countries," he said.
After presentations by sector representatives from India, Consul General for India in Johannesburg K J Srinivasa called on delegates to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Gujarat, which he said was firmly committed to India's national economic growth with its state-of-the art infrastructure and ease of doing business.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)