JOHANNESBURG– India’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to South Africa, Ruchira Kamboj, on Tuesday launched a business summit to be held by the two countries here on April 29 and 30 to foster bilateral economic co-operation.

The business summit, which the Indian High Commission is organizing in partnership with various South African government entities, will seek to maximise the potential of economic and commercial partnership between the two countries by leveraging on automotive, healthcare, mining, agro- and food-processing, and future skills industries, among others.

Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg, Kamboj said India, South Africa’s fourth trading partner, had been planning the summit for a long time. She added that India had somewhat gained confidence in South Africa’s potential as an investment destination since the change of political leadership earlier this year when Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded acob Zuma as president.

I am very confident that there is potential to double the trade figures between the two countries. There are many sectors through which our countries can partner and co-operate. In the end, the two countries will share together in the prosperity of each country’s growth, Kamboj said.

My country has been growing at a rapid rate, roughly seven to eight per cent, especially in the last few years. It’s a two trillion dollar economy of 1.3 billion people. We have perfected trading. We have been doing business since the beginning of time.

The Director of Investment at the South African Department of Trade and Industry, Madileke Ramusha, said the conference would address barriers to market access for companies as well as learn from India’s small businesses since the country is ahead of the curve on that front.

We have already set out to sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with some Indian companies during the summit. We hope that South African companies will use this opportunity to seek new markets and grow their businesses, Ramushu said.