September 23, 2011

By Dilipp S Nag

RAPAPORT… India’s Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Jyotiradiya Scindia, stated that there are tremendous prospects for South Africa‘s diamond mining companies to enter into long term contracts with the Indian diamond firms and rough purchasers such as Diamond India Ltd. and MMTC Ltd.

India and South Africa on Thursday agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector through joint ventures, technology collaborations and marketing partnerships, the government said in a statement.

”There is, however, ample scope of diversifying the existing trade basket by bringing in many more manufactured goods,” said Scindia, who is in South Africa for one-day official visit. He met with South Africa‘s Deputy Minister for Trade & Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, and discussed several ways to boost trade.

South Africa is India’s second largest trading partner in Africa. The trade between two countries was at $10.6 billion in the fiscal period of 2010-2011 and is expected to reach $15 billion by 2014.

”The MSME sector accounts for a large share of industrial output, employment and exports in both countries. There are immense opportunities of cooperation and strategic alliances,” Scindia stated.

He added that there is also tremendous scope for co-operation and joint ventures between public sector undertakings of the two countries in the coal sector.

Scindia also expressed hope that the India-SACU Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) will be concluded soon, which will give a considerable boost to India’s exports in the whole of southern Africa.