INDIA-SACU PTA TO CONCLUDE SOON – IMMENSE OPPORTUNTIES FOR STRATEGIC ALLIANCE IN SME SECTOR: ANAND SHARMA
Date : 04 Jun 2010
Location : New Delhi
Speaking at the Interactive Session of CEOs with the President of South Africa, Mr. Jacob Zuma, here today, Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has informed that the talks for the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between India and South African Customs Union (SACU) are expected to conclude soon. He further added that the agreement will also pave the way for India and South Africa to engage with other South countries. The interactive session was attended by the South African Trade & Industry Minister Mr. Rob Davies; business leaders and senior officials from both the countries.
On the investment perspective, Shri Sharma said that South Africa is one of the most attractive destinations for Indian investors and many Indian companies in the agro-processing, pharmaceutical, energy, tourism, mining, film industries etc. have established their footprint. The Minister called on the South African investors to take full advantage of the present investment climate in India particularly in the sectors like infrastructure, infotech, banking, services and insurance etc.
During his interaction, Shri Sharma highlighted the bilateral opportunities in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector and informed that SME sector accounts for a large share of India’s industrial output, employment and exports. "The situation is a lot similar in South Africa as well. Looking at the existing situation and background of SMEs in both countries, there are immense opportunities of cooperation and strategic alliances in SME sector, which could be in the form of joint ventures, technology collaborations or marketing tie-ups", the Minister stated.
Drawing the attention of delegates to inclusive growth and development, Shri Sharma said: "our bilateral cooperation should be predicated to be inclusive growth process of our respective economies. This is essential for fulfilling our aspirations of attaining the developed country status".
Later today, during the bilateral meeting with Mr. Rob Davies, Shri Sharma emphasized the need for sustained and institutionalized dialogue at the Ministerial level on issues relating to trade & investment, speedy conclusion of various agreements especially India-SACU PTA and Bilateral Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement (BIPPA).
The major items of exports to South Africa are petroleum, drugs, pharmaceuticals & fine chemicals, transport equipments, electronic goods, machinery etc. The major items of imports from South Africa are Gold, coal, Coke, inorganic chemicals, non-ferrous metals, pulp & waste paper etc.
India’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows (equity inflows + reinvested earnings and other capital) during the financial year 2009-10 was to the tune of US $ 34,167 million. Top sectors attracted FDI inflows are: services, computer software & hardware, housing & real estate, power, automobile, chemicals etc.