M a r k e t N e w s

Indian trade mission to Africa to generate millions

Posted on : Thursday, 18th December 2014

 The Federation of Gujarat Industries (FGI) hopes that its current, nine day, trade mission to South Africa will, on its own, generate at least $10-million in bilateral trade. So stated FGI senior VP and mission head Janak Seth at a trade briefing in Sandton (north Johannesburg) on Thursday. Gujarat is a coastal state in north west India.

While the state contains 5% of India’s population, it is responsible for 17% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 19% of Indian exports. It has 22 ports. Gujarat has enjoyed an annual average GDP growth of 10% over the past decade. “Gujarat is truly the land of entrepreneurs,” he affirmed.
The state is the only one in India to enjoy an uninterrupted electricity supply, 24/7. The last power cut in Gujarat was ten or more years ago. “Some of our members here can really solve your [South African] load shedding problems,” quipped Seth. The state has a power generation capacity of 22 000 MW and is the only power surplus state in India.
The FGI delegation is composed of companies in the chemical, electrical, energy, engineering, information technology and especially the pharmaceuticals sectors. From South Africa, Gujarat is especially interested in a wide range agricultural products and oil seeds.
“India’s and South Africa’s relations go back a long way,” highlighted Indian acting High Commissioner Armstrong Changsan at the briefing. “The Indian diaspora here came [to South Africa] over 150 years ago. In the era of apartheid, India supported the anti-apartheid movement.”
“Although our political relations are extremely cordial and excellent, our trade relations have also been growing,” he noted. “Our exports to South Africa have steadily increased.” In the financial year (FY) 2008/09 bilateral trade was worth $7-billion; by FY 2012/13 it had almost doubled to $13.9-billion.
Changsan assured that the Indian High Commission and its offices in South Africa were “very ready” to support business delegations and encourage South African-Indian business encounters, “to the benefit of both countries”. He pointed out that India was now issuing longer term visas to South African business people, and expressed the hope that South African would reciprocate.

Source : www.engineeringnews.co.za
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