Investment in infrastructure is essential to enhance economic development, intra-trade and regional integration, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina.
Speaking during the second leg of the 6th Annual India Trade and Investment Initiative (ITI) hosted in Kolkata, India, Deputy Minister Masina said it was important to emphasise that the bedrock of new growth in the African continent would come from infrastructure development.
“The opportunity to collaborate with Indian companies will make it possible for South Africa to realise the deliverables of the programme, in particular the North-South corridor, with emphasis on road and rail infrastructure,” he said.
The ITI forms part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s export and investment promotion strategy to focus on India as a high growth export market and foreign direct investment source.
Deputy Minister Masina urged the Indian business delegation to optimally use the ITI platform and give voice to key issues in the infrastructure, agro-processing, mining and minerals beneficiation, electro-technical, cosmetics and renewable energy sectors represented by the 25-member business delegation from South Africa attending the ITI.
He said South Africa and India share a common vision to address the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment.
“I am of the firm view that it is through initiatives of this nature that we will be able to address the challenges of unemployment, advance the fight against poverty and accelerate economic transformation within our respective countries,” said Deputy Minister Masina.
The chairperson of the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Kalyan Kar, said India’s investment in South Africa was over US$33 billion in different sectors.
Kar said Indian businesses were keen to invest and collaborate with South Africa, especially in the coal-mining sector.