South Africa sees India trade rising to $15 bn by next year

South africa trade

South Africa, the latest entrant to BRICS block of emerging nations, has said it expects the bilateral trade with India to reach USD 15 billion by 2014 and it sees impressive opportunities in retail, financial services and infrastructure sectors here.

"In 2011, bilateral trade between South Africa and India stood at 53.7 billion South African rands and is set to rise to 116 billion Rands (USD 15 billion) by 2014," South Africa's Minister of International Relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told PTI in an emailed interview.

Ahead of the an BRICS summit in Durban later year, which would be attended by governments heads of all five countries, the South African minister said that BRICS is aimed at forging closer relations between the five countries, not only multilaterally, but also through closer bilateral relations. Mashabane said that Indian economy was dynamic and vibrant and provides new opportunities for growth and development on a sustained basis.

"South Africa and indeed the broader international community are watching with interest the massive opportunities that are coming about in India, as a result of the need for infrastructure development to drive its growing economy. "Indeed, it is not only infrastructure that provides opportunities but also in the expanding retail and financial services sector," the Minister said.

Among South African companies, First Rand Bank has already set yup a branch in Mumbai and is the first bank from the African continent to be granted a full scale commercial banking license in India.

The South African investments into India also include SAB Miller in beverage space, Sanlam and Old Mutual in insurance sector and Rand Merchant Bank in financial services.

Mashabane said that the major Indian investors in South Africa included Tatas, UB Group, Mahindras and a number of pharmaceutical companies, including Ranbaxy and Cipla. The minister said that the Indian economy, even after some sluggish financial indicators, is still one of the cornerstone economies for world growth.

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