Prime Minister Modi and I, along with our respective delegations, have just concluded fruitful talks aimed at deepening the bilateral cooperation between South Africa and India.
India is a strategic partner for South Africa and I am most honoured to have been invited to pay this State Visit to India.
I am also extremely honoured by the invitation to attend, tomorrow, the 70th Republic Day Parade as the Chief Guest of Honour.
I am accompanied on my visit by a delegation of Cabinet Ministers and senior officials, which is a reflection of the importance which South Africa places on its relations with India.
A strong contingent representing the South African business community has also accompanied me on this visit and the Prime Minister and I will address a business forum later this afternoon.
During our deliberations, the Prime Minister and I were in agreement that considerable scope exists for our two countries to grow our bilateral economic relationship.
While trade has increased significantly over the last few years, and India is currently our second largest trading partner in Asia, there are a number of areas of future cooperation.
These include agro-processed goods, defence procurement, mining equipment and technology and cooperation in the financial services sector.
During our talks we also reviewed the existing cordial bilateral relations between South Africa and India, as well as the close cooperation within a number of multilateral groupings including BRICS, IBSA, the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the G20.
In order to ensure concrete deliverables the Prime Minister and I concluded this morning a Three Year Strategic Programme of Cooperation aimed at deepening the bilateral engagement between India and South Africa and ensuring that a result-orientated partnership benefits the people of both countries.
We have instructed our Ministers and officials to commence immediate implementation of this Programme to take our bilateral relationship to a new level.
Source: Department of International Relations and Cooperation