On the invitation of His Excellency Mr Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, paid an official visit to the Republic of South Africa from 7 to 9 July 2016. Prime Minister Modiin his first visit to South Africawas accompanied bya delegation comprisingsenior government officials.
President of the Republic of South Africa H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma warmly received Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 8 July 2016 at the Union Buildings of South Africa.
In his talks with President Zuma, Prime Minister Modi conveyed good wishes and a message of friendship from the people of India to the people of South Africa.The two leaders held discussions in the spirit of the strong friendship and historical links between the two countries.
His Excellency Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Modi.
President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi paid tribute to the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi whose resistance against discrimination and fight for justice inspired leaders of the struggle for freedom in South Africa. Both leaders admired the contribution of Nelson Mandela for his leadership of the fight for justice and freedom in South Africa. The contribution of these leaders helped in building a just and free society in their respective countries.
During the visit, the following Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were signed by the two sides:
- Memorandum of Understanding on ICT
- Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Grassroots Innovation in the area of Science and Technology
- Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism; and
- Programme of Cultural Cooperation
The discussions between President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi were held in the spirit of friendship. Both leaders referred to the historical relations that the two countries share as well as the mutual struggle against colonialism and oppression which has served to forge a strong bond that is further underpinned by a shared worldview.
President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi expressed satisfaction with the current status of bilateral relations. It was, however, emphasised that there is still scope for the further strengthening and deepening of relations in the political, economic, scientific and socio-cultural spheres and it was agreed that frequent and sustained contact between South Africa and India in mutually identified areas will serve to maintain the momentum of the bilateral relationship.
In this regard, the comprehensive Strategic Partnership between South Africa and India, which was established through the Red Fort Declaration (March 1997), and reaffirmed in the Tshwane Declaration (October 2006), was hailed as an important mechanism that has contributed in the past to both South Africa and India achieving identified national objectives. Both countries further committed to elevate efforts in achieving the goals set out in the Declaration noting that in 2017 the twentieth commemoration of the signing of the Red Fort Declaration will be celebrated.
President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi also discussed intensified collaboration in the sectors of defence, energy, agro-processing, human resource development, infrastructure development as well as science, technology and innovation.
President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi further reflected on the huge potential to increase bilateral trade and to expand investment and agreed that both countries should examine obstacles to the promotion of mutual trade and investment.
The leaders underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation between business entities of South Africa and India. They identified focus areas for deeper cooperation including manufacturing, mines and minerals, IT, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, tourism, S&T and financial services.
President Zuma furthermore noted and welcomed the relaxation of foreign direct investment rules through the lifting of the caps on foreign direct investment in nine sectors of the Indian economy including the defence, food retail, local airlines, private security firms and pharmaceutical sectors, indicating that the announcement will have a major impact of attracting foreign investment in these areas, including from South Africa.
President Zuma furthermore invited the private sector of India to invest in various sectors of South Africa’s economy. Likewise, Prime Minister Modi also called upon the South African private sector to consider investing in key economic sectors in India. South Africa took note of the many opportunities for the private sector available in the "Make in India” initiative, and the Indian side noted the invitation to take advantage of infrastructure development opportunities in South Africa and the Continent.
Noting the potential for greater economic engagement between the two countries and the need to promote economic and commercial cooperation, the leaders welcomed the decision of the Confederation of the Indian Industry (CII) to open a regional office in Johannesburg. They mandated the relevant authorities to organise country-specific events for promoting trade and economic cooperation.
The leaders expressed satisfaction at the steady pace of cooperation in defence sector encompassing a wide range of engagements including defence production, joint collaboration, manufacturing research and development, training and joint exercises.
Acknowledging the critical importance of expanding and diversifying trade relations, the leaders made use of the opportunity to meet with CEOs from various sectors after the conclusion of the meeting of the CEO Forum. President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi also addressed the enlarged South Africa-India Business Meeting.
The preferential trade agreement being pursued by the South African Customs Union and India were acknowledged with both leaders noting the contribution such an agreement will make to intensifying trade relations between Southern Africa and India. It is envisaged that the agreement will be concluded in the near future.
The leaders congratulated the Departments of Science and Technology of India and South Africa for the active and vibrant collaboration in the fields of scientific and technological research over the last 20 years. Both leaders appreciated the cooperation efforts made on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. Towards this end, they noted that 8 new bilateral R&D projects for instrumentation development and capacity building in the area of astronomy will be implemented under the framework of India-South Africa S&T cooperation.
The leaders welcomed the new call inviting research projects in Health Sciences specifically focused on HIV-TB. They were also pleased to note that both sides have agreed to support 14 new joint research projects in the area of Agriculture Biotechnology and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.
Both leaders expressed satisfaction at the growing cooperation in the energy sector, and the potential to expand cooperation in the renewable energy sector, acknowledging that both countries are leaders in this field.
Both leaders acknowledged the launch of International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a common platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries. Prime Minister Modi invited South Africa to the deliberations leading up to the formalisation of the Alliance.
Affirming the importance of cooperation in the field of training and skills development South Africa welcomed the numerous opportunities offered by India, and acknowledged the benefit that many students accrued and that it looked forward to further strengthening the academic engagements between institutions on both sides.
Both parties expressed the desire to broaden people-to-people interactions and to increase two-way tourism which would include a redoubling of efforts to address challenges with regard to consular and immigration related issues. South Africa welcomed the e-Tourist visa facility extended to South Africa.Prime Minister Modi appreciated South Africa for extending 10-year BRICS multiple entry Business Visa to business persons from BRICS countries.
The significance of regular exchange of high-level visits was underlined recognising the recent high level exchanges that included the visit by President Zuma to India to attend the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2015 and Minister Swaraj, attending the Ninth Joint Ministerial Commission meeting in South Africa in May 2015.They also recalled their meetings on the margins of international events which contributed to deepening of bilateral relations between both countries.
The valuable contribution by the people of Indian descent in South Africa and their contribution to the development of South Africa was lauded.
Regional and International Issues
On regional and international issues, President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi underscored the need for continuing consultations and the exchange of views between South Africa and India in order to build partnerships in multilateral fora and to ensure that the agenda of the South is prioritised.
Prime Minister Modi thanked President Zuma for South Africa's support for India's membership of the NSG. Prime Minister Modi reiterated India's commitment to comply with NSG guidelines and continued commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament.
Both leaders noted the outcomes of the Third India-Africa Summit Forum which took place in New Delhi from 26 – 29 October 2015. Prime Minister Modi appreciated President Zuma's participation at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2015 in New Delhi, India. They agreed that the Forum Summit provided an opportunity to review and update priorities for Africa and India; to deepen the historic solidarity and partnership; and to intensify, diversify and multiply trade and economic relations between India and Africa. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fulfil the goals and plan of action set forth during the Summit.
Emphasis was placed on the empowerment of women and youth as elements fundamental to the eradication of poverty, inequality and unemployment. President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi exchanged views on peace and security issues in Africa and reiterated the importance of cooperating in the promotion of socio-economic justice and the maintenance of peace and security in Africa. The leaders briefed each other on their respective initiatives towards maintaining peace and security and promoting integration on the Continent, whilst acknowledging the importance of seeking African solutions to African problems.
President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi furthermore exchanged views with regard to developments in South Asia.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS)
The leaders concurred that the BRICS agenda has expanded over the years. They recognised the BRICS Forum’s valuable contribution in reforming the global financial and economic architecture. They expressed satisfaction at the operationalization of the New Development Bank (NDB) and agreed to continue with the institution-building momentum in BRICS with an aim to further bridge the investment-gap in key economic sectors.
Cognizant of the BRICS economies significant role in stabilising global economic growth in challenging times, the leaders agreed to further enhance cooperation and coordination within BRICS with a view to improve global political and economic governance, and to re-double the voice of emerging markets in international affairs. They reiterated the commitment to work together to enhance intra-BRICS trade, investment and financial cooperation. The leaders committed to take forward the BRICS agenda in a constructive manner.
India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA)
Underscoring IBSA as an effective Forum, embodying the democratic-spirit of three large democracies from the global-South, they reaffirmed their strong commitment to further consolidate the IBSA process.
The leaders applauded the good work carried out by the IBSA Fund in sharing experiences, expertise, and capacities with the developing countries in a South-South Development and Cooperation framework. They noted that the IBSA Fund Agreement has been agreed by all parties and is ready for adoption. Both leaders agreed that South Africa will host the 8th Trilateral Commission Meeting, and the 6th IBSA Summit will be hosted by India next year.
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
President Zuma noted that IORA gained new momentum when India took over as Chair and committed that it will be South Africa’s objective to ensure that this momentum is sustained during its incoming Chairpersonship. Both leaders noted the importance of the Ocean Economy, growing interest by other countries to join the organisation as dialogue partners, and the strategic nature the Indian Ocean can play in developing the Region.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed South Africa as the incoming Chair of IORA for 2017-19 when IORA commemorates its 20th anniversary. Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed India's full support to South Africa as the Chair of IORA.
President Zuma and Prime Minister Modi discussed a wide range of contemporary and global issues including the urgent need for UNSC Reform, international efforts on counter-terrorism as well as the reform of international financial systems.
Both leaders expressed concern at the slow pace of UN reforms and reiterated the importance of international institutions reflecting the reality of the contemporary international system and taking into account the developmental agenda of the South. Both leaders agreed that an urgent need exists to ensure that UNSC reforms are addressed as a matter of priority.
The leaders welcomed the successful adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in December 2015 and its enabling decision covering the pre-and-post 2020 periods and expressed appreciation for the signing of the Paris Agreement by both the countries on 22 April 2016. They expressed their commitment to take appropriate measure to address climate change, in particular to strengthen adaptation and resilience capacities and to promote increased use of renewable energy and highlighted the need for the provision of greater international support for developing countries to realise these efforts.
Both sides agreed that terrorism constitutes a serious threat to international peace and stability and that no country is immune to the threat that terrorism represents. It was noted that more should be done to address the issue of terrorism and that counter-terrorism efforts should support a comprehensive, multifaceted and integrated approach.In this regard both leaders noted the need for concerted action by the global community against terrorism through early agreement and adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, as well as the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in a balanced and integrated manner.
Both leaders noted that the proposed theme of the Summit, namely "Breaking a New Path for Growth,” is in line with the developmental plans of both countries. Prime Minister Modi took note of the request from South Africa for India’s continued support for the proposals on the illicit financial flows, the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and for the industrialisation of Africa and Least Developing Countries (LDCs) as well as the G20 Action Plan on the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda.The leaders noted the progress made in implementing IMFs governance and quota reforms. They stressed, it should be reflective of relative weightage of IMF members in global economy. In this regard, they underscored the relevance of weightage to GDP on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in the new quota formula.
Cognizant of the infrastructure-gap in developing countries, the Leaders underscored the role that G20 and the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) can play to bridge this gap through measures such as priority-lending, R&D, and technology transfers from the developed to developing countries.
The Leaders recognized G20 as the premier Forum for coordination in international financial and economic matters. They, in this regard, noted the continued sluggish recovery and deflationary-pressures on global economy. They called upon the world-community to utilise monetary, fiscal, and structural reforms to jump-start global economy.
The leaders emphasised the role of investments, both public and private, in spurring the economic growth. They also reiterated continuing relevance of trade-expansion in sustaining global growth.
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
The leaders reiterated their support to WTO as the sole multilateral-mechanism on global-trade and commerce. They, in this regard, reiterated the significance of centrality accorded to the development-agenda in the Doha Development Round. They further agreed that the unfinished agenda for the Doha Development Round should be completed expeditiously and should lead to an outcome that is proportionate and significantly addresses the imbalances and inequities of the global system that impede development prospects for developing countries.
At the conclusion of the visit, Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude to President Zuma and the Government and people of South Africa for the warm and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit and that he looked forward to receiving President Zuma in Goa, India for the BRICS Summit in October 2016.
08 July 2016