The Indian President was recently on a state visit to South Africa for bilateral discussions. On the occasion the South African President Jacob Zuma called on Indian business to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
As part of efforts to deepen relations with India, South Africa has invited Indian businessmen to invest in its massive infrastructure development program, with investment estimation amounting about 99 billion U.S. dollars. The SA President earmarked this visit by saying, “It will be especially important for South Africa to enhance its cooperation with India in infrastructure development and trade relation”. The Indian president’s visit will see the two countries strengthening their social, economic and cultural ties, he added.
The presidential infrastructure coordinating commission has identified 43 projects and will seek help from India in skills in engineering, information and communication technology the SA president said.
In 2011, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at about 53 billion rands (about 7 billion U.S. dollars). It was reported that the two countries have set a bilateral trade target of 111 billion rands (about 14 billion U.S. dollars) to be reached by 2014.
Both South Africa and India are members of the BRICS, which also includes Brazil, Russia and China. In
March 2012, Zuma visited India to take part in the fourth BRICS summit.