_: The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe will lead a technical mission to India from today 19 – 30 August 2012 to observe progress made by the Indian government on the development of Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), as well as the connectivity of rural economies to the mainstream economic activity in the country.
“South Africa and India are both developing countries confronted by similar economic development challenges, however the latest developments have indicated that India has progressed impressively in the area of informal business development and it is in relation to these that we are undertaking this visit,” she said.
Thabethe added that the mission would span four cities, visiting industry role-players in the city of Kerala, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.
“Institutions that we will be engaging with, will present simple solutions for South Africa’s SMMEs, especially key challenges facing small business development in the country, including the provision of business development support, access to finance, access to technology and market development,” added Thabethe.
Deputy Minister Thabethe will be accompanied by a delegation comprising of senior officials from the dti and its agencies, including the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and the National Empowerment Fund. The officials will be part of the team that will be providing technical support in the benchmarking exercise and to acquire best practices from the various Indian scenarios presented and to learn from the successful initiatives.
Earlier this year, the Deputy Minister led a delegation of business people on an Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) to India. The ITI is part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti’s) export and investment promotion strategy that focuses on India, amongst others, as a high growth export market.
The aim is to create market penetration for South African value-added products and services in India and to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.