Friday, April 25, 2014



South Africa And India Cross The $15 Billion Trade Mark

The South African Consul General in Mumbai organized a day-long celebration on 25th April, 2014 at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai. The day is the first in the series of events that would culminate in the final celebration on 27th April, 2014 in Delhi, marking the much-venerated Freedom Day. Apart from memorialize glorious 20 years of democracy in South Africa, it also emphasizes on the stellar achievement of crossing $15 billion bilateral trade mark with India before the targeted year of 2015. It also is an opportunity to reflect on the flourishing trade and cultural relations between South Africa and India.

Inspired by efforts of champions of freedom and equality, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, the event calls upon citizens to deliberate upon the contribution of the freedom stalwarts, and the future possibilities of strengthening the business and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
An ideal platform for discussions entailing the fortification of ties between the two countries, the event showcased the views of prominent personalities of Tourism, Trade, and Business sectors on the accomplishments that the two countries have achieved by mutual co-operation and collaboration. Panelists like Mr. Sajid Khan, Country Head of South African Airways said, “Indian tourists are heading by and large to South Africa, regarding it as an ideal vacation spot and an excellent place for business prospects.” Ms.Hanneli Slabber , Country Head, South African Tourism, deliberated on how tourism in South Africa has increased multiple folds and Indian tourists have played a significant role in this development.

Panelists highlighted the advancements that have taken place in various sectors of South Africa, with India’s participation playing  a crucial role in the same. Mr. Rohit Wahi, CEO of First Rand Bank emphasized on the expansion of South African economy and India’s co-operation in its commercial and industrial plans. Distinguished companies like Tata, Apollo Tyres, Cipla and Marico have already invested in South Africa, becoming instrumental in the continuing progress of the country. The bond further cemented with the formation of the IBSA Dialogue Forum, and continual support from India for progress in agriculture, technology and health-care.

Speakers from both countries discussed the central role of India in South Africa’s democratic evolution, and reflected on how the dynamic relation between South Africa and India has been bolstered in multiple ways, with shared objectives of economic and cultural development. Consul General, His Excellency, Mr. Pule Malefane said, “The programme reaffirms how the two countries are resolute on building better futures for the benefit of both. Together, with sustained efforts, we can attain greater heights in diverse spheres”. The event included performances by renowned South African artists, as a mark of cultural appreciation.

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