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India is gateway to Asian markets: SA minister

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Johannesburg, Feb 25: Terming India as a gateway to Asian markets and a key-player in the regional economy, South Africa has said the bilateral trade between the two countries has doubled in four years.

"Figures showed that trade between South Africa and India increased from R42 billion to over R90 billion over the 2010 to 2014 period and that exports from South Africa to India increased from R22 billion to over R40 billion in the same period," South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said.

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"This is indicative of the high demand for locally manufactured value-added products in the Asian market and as a key-player in the regional economy, India also provides a good platform for South Africa to re-integrate with Western Asia," the minister said.

Davies led a delegation of 26 companies for the 7th annual Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) to India.

The four-day visit will see the delegation visiting Hyderabad and New Delhi as part of South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry's export and investment promotion strategy to focus on India as a high growth export market and FDI source According to Davies, the aim of the ITI is to increase South Africa's exports of value-added products into the Indian market and to explore joint-venture opportunities with Indian companies for investment projects.

"This will in turn contribute in meeting the broader objectives of the national-industrial policy and the development of the South African economy," he said.

The ITI will mainly target the promotion of South Africa's agro-processing (fruit juices, fresh and dried fruit), chemicals (agro-chemicals, and active pharmaceutical ingredients, mining (beneficiated metal products and jewellery) and capital equipment (mining equipment, safety equipment) sectors.


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