India's new government offers opportunities for South African cos

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South African business sector, globally renowned for the competencies in infrastructure, financial and insurance sectors should take advantage of the new Indian government's reform agenda, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa Virendra Gupta has said.

Speaking at a seminar in the Festival of India, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa Virendra Gupta said yesterday that the India-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Preferential Trade Agreement would be concluded soon to give a boost to bilateral business ties.

Gupta was inaugurating a business seminar titled "Leveraging Business Opportunities in-post-election India", organised by the Indian missions in Pretoria and Johannesburg in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The South African business sector should take advantage of the reform agenda of the new Indian Government, especially because of their globally renowned competencies in the infrastructure, financial and insurance sectors,

The seminar was part of a series of events in the Festival of India 2014 in South Africa currently underway to mark 20 years of India-South Africa diplomatic relations and 20 years of democracy in South Africa, he said.

E B Rajesh, Regional Director for Africa, Middle East and the Gulf, CII highlighted during the seminar the expectations of Indian Industry from the present Indian Government on policy issues such as public-private partnership framework, General Sales Tax [GST], ease of doing business and monetary easing.

"The India-Africa trade and investment corridor offers immense opportunity and we need to develop connectivity between BRICS countries as well," said Abdullah Verachia of the India-African Business Network.

He also urged South African entities to look at opportunities in the Tier-II and III cities in India, rather than just at the metropolitan centres.

"India-South Africa bilateral trade in 2012-13 stood at $13.9 billion. More than 100 Indian companies are present in South Africa with a combined investment of upwards of $7 billion. " said Consul-General Randhir Jaiswal.

"Similarly on the South African side, majors such as Sanlam, Airports Company of South Africa, Life Healthcare and others have made significant investments in India," he added.

Senior Indian journalist Subhomoy Bhattachrjee, a panellists in the seminar, spoke on the proposed changes in India to attract FDI and to improve the business climate.

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