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India's Patil to explore business opportunities in South Africa

05-04-2012 08:07 BJT

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Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil is in South Africa on an official state visit to strengthen relations. President Patil who is being accompanied by a large, high-level business delegation, is in Africa’s southern-most country to explore further business opportunities. The visit is also expected to strengthen social, economic and cultural ties between the two nations.

A 21-gun salute and plenty of pomp and ceremony, in the South African capital, Pretoria, to welcome the Indian President on her last State visit before her term of office comes to an end.

India's President Pratibha Devisingh Patil (C) arrives with South African President
Jacob Zuma (R) during her state visit to South Africa for bilateral discussions in
Pretoria May 2, 2012.

Reporter: "Relations between India and South Africa date back many decades. President Zuma said the relationship between the two countries was significant as both shared a history of colonial oppression and racism. He also paid tribute to the many South Africans - who trace their roots back to India - who helped build the South African nation. "

The Indian President said political, economic and commercial ties between her country and South Africa had grown significantly since the establishment of ties in 1994.

Patil said, "My visit to SA is part of a tradition of regular, high-level exchanges, reaffirming our common commitment, to take our relations onward to high levels... While expression satisfaction over the current state of our relations, we did feel that considerable opportunities existed, which are needed to be fully explored, particularly in the areas of trade and economic co-operation. Indian companies are investing in capacity-building, by systematic training of South Africans, creating jobs and playing an important role in the development and economic growth of South Africa."

President Zuma thanked India - a fellow Brics nation - for its continued development support in South Africa.

Zuma said, "South Africa received enormous support and encouragement from India and our other BRICS partners - Brazil, Russia and China, on our major infrastructure development plans. We have once again extended an invitation to Indian business to invest in our infrastructure development program, in which we are to invest more than R800 billion until 2014."

President Zuma said it was especially important for South Africa to enhance its co-operation with India in infrastructure development and trade relations.

Zuma said, "In 2011 bi-lateral trade between India and SA stood at In 2011, bilateral trade between India and South Africa stood at R53.7 billion; with South Africa exporting goods to the value of R24.4 billion to India and importing goods from India to the value of R29.3 billion."

President Patil said the two nations would work together to ensure their trade-relationship was not harmed by piracy in the Indian Ocean. Both presidents will participate in a business forum with Indian and South African captains of industry, in Pretoria, before the Indian president visits Cape Town and Durban.

Indian President Pratibha Patil (L) walks with South Africa President Jacob Zuma (R)
during her state visit to South Africa in Pretoria on May 2.

India's President Pratibha Devisingh Patil (L) listens to South African President
Jacob Zuma as he speaks during a news conference in Pretoria May 2, 2012.

India's President Pratibha Devisingh Patil (C) inspects the guard of honour during
her state visit to South Africa for bilateral discussions with South African
President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria May 2, 2012.


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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