Johannesburg, Jul 4: Indian companies have created over 10,000 jobs in South Africa with an investment of more than USD four billion since 2003, the country's trade minister said today, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here this week.
Modi is expected to be accompanied by a high level business delegation for two business meetings on Friday including for a Business Forum in Pretoria which will be preceded by a meeting of the South Africa-India CEOs Forum.
"A total of 82 Indian projects in South Africa with a total capital expenditure of 62 billion rand (USD 4.2 billion) between January 2003 and January 2016 were recorded from 60 companies," Minister for Trade and Industries Rob Davies said at a media briefing.
He said that these investments have created 10,660 jobs. India's leading sectors were software and IT services (17 projects) and financial services (14 projects). India is now South Africa's sixth largest trade partner, with trade in last year being almost 95 billion rand, with a trade surplus in favour of India.
Trade with India represented 4.9 per cent of South African imports and 4.1 per cent of exports. South Africa's trade statistics show that India's exports to South Africa increased from 29 billion rand in 2011 to 54 billion rand last year, while South Africa's exports to India increased from 24 billion rand in 2011 to 41 billion rand. South African companies have also grown their investments in India with a total of 24 projects.
The leading sectors for South Africa's investment in India were the financial sector, machinery and equipment and software and IT services. Davies said efforts were underway to promote South African exports, especially value added products.
The minister highlighted government interventions undertaken to turn the trade imbalance around, including participation in the India International Trade Fair last year and the seventh Investment and Trade Initiative in February.
Since trade was resumed in 1994 after nearly four decades of aparheid-era isolation, Indian companies have invested heavily in numerous sectors in South Africa, especially in the mining industry, financial services, pharmaceutical sector and manufacturing. Davies singled out Tata and CIPLA for their investment in South Africa.
Tata is one of the biggest investors today after moving in early when democracy dawned with the release of Nelson Mandela, who became the first democratically elected South African President.
Tata has invested in mining, ICT, hospitality, automotive and energy. CIPLA has supported the roll out of ARVs in South Africa and making medicines more affordable to patients in supporting improved healthcare as one of Government's key priorities.