Visit of President of South Africa to India

June 04, 2010

At the invitation of the President of India, the President of South Africa, H.E Mr. Jacob G. Zuma, accompanied by Mrs. Zuma was on a State Visit to India from June 2-4, 2010. President Zuma's delegation included 7 Ministers of his Cabinet including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Public Enterprises, Trade & Industry, Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, Transport, and Communication. A 200 member strong business delegation as well as senior officials were part of President Zuma's delegation.

This was President Zuma's first visit to India as the President of South Africa. This was also his first visit as the President of South Africa to any country in Asia.

President Zuma will be calling on the President who would be hosting a banquet in his honour. He has met the Hon'ble Vice President of India, Shri. M. Hamid Ansari and held delegation level talks with Hon'ble Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. MOS for External Affairs called on President Zuma. The Chairperson of the UPA, Smt. Sonia Gandhi and the Leader of the Opposition, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, also called on him.

The discussions were held in an atmosphere reflective of the fraternal warmth, affection and strategic partnership that characterize the bilateral relations. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the state of bilateral relations, and the mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership that was developing between the two countries. They discussed a wide range of subjects of bilateral interest covering economic cooperation, trade and investment, agriculture, education, information and communication technology, health, science and technology and culture. A Joint Declaration containing the key understandings reached during the meetings was issued during the visit.

The following MOUs/agreements were signed during the visit: (i) MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture and allied sectors, (ii) Air Services Agreement and (iii) MoU on cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute of India and the Diplomatic Academy of South Africa.

The two sides noted that while bilateral trade has grown from US$ 2.5 billion in 2002 to US$ 7.5 billion in 2008-09, it needs greater diversity. India today is one of the ten largest trading partners of South Africa. In order to exploit the immense potential, a target of US$ 10 billion by the year 2012 has been set. At the same time, increasing Indian investments made South Africa one of our most significant partners in the African continent.

President Zuma and his delegation met Indian business leaders in Mumbai on June 2, 2010. An India-South Africa CEOs' Forum has been established, which is chaired by Mr. Ratan Tata on the Indian side and Mr. Patrice Motsepe, CEO of African Rainbow Minerals and Chairperson of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) on the South African side. The Forum includes senior representatives of the Indian and South African industry. The Forum aims at increasing interactions between business persons from both countries.

Both sides also discussed ways of implementing the many agreements that both countries have concluded in the past, to further broaden the base of bilateral partnership. The Joint Commission between the two countries, which meets later this year, will include these views.

The two leaders highlighted the importance of high level bilateral visits, including at the level of Heads of State and Government. They also decided to promote other high level ministerial visits. Vice President Shri. Mohammad Hamid Ansari visited South Africa during May 8-10, 2009 to attend the inauguration of Mr. Jacob Zuma. South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane visited India from 12-15 November 2009. The Finance Minister of South Africa Mr. Pravin Gordhan visited India during January 6-9, 2010 for the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. Ms. Buyela Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of South Africa attended the BASIC Ministers Meeting during January 23-25, 2010.

Both sides exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest like UN reforms, IBSA, climate change and G-20. They reiterated the resolve to continue bilateral dialogue and cooperation at various international fora.

India expressed its willingness to work with South Africa in addressing the shared challenges of capacity-building, skill development and job creation, without which inclusive growth is inhibited.

Both sides have pledged to support each other's candidacies for the elected seats of the UN Security Council, elections for which would be held later this year.

New Delhi


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