Indian enterprises can shorten their lead time to access the African markets to three days from current eight days by investing in South African Special Economic Zones, a top official of South African consular office in Mumbai said.
“There are more than 13 Special Economic Zones in South Africa, where Indian companies can invest and export to the entire Africa, USA and European Union, with which we have trade agreements,” said Ms. Andrea Kuhn, Consul General, Consulate General of the Rep. of South Africa in Mumbai.
She was speaking at an interactive session organized by MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries.
“We assure visas to Indian businessmen and tourists in five working days. Already, there are around 150 Indian companies in South Africa providing jobs to 20,000 people there,” she said.
The middle-class population in Africa is estimated to grow to 660 million by 2030, with a purchasing power of USD 2.6 trillion, she highlighted.
Dean Hoff, Consul Economic, Consulate General of the Republic of South Africa, “In agro processing, we are negotiating with the Indian government to export avocado, table grapes and litchis.”
Indian companies can invest in the agriculture value chain in South Africa as we are a major producer of citrus fruits, maize, corn, soyabean, sugar and dairy products, Hoff said.
Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai pointed out that South Africa is the second largest trade partner of India in Africa and it has the largest Indian diaspora in the African continent.
“But still bilateral trade volume is around USD 15 billion, which can be enhanced with the dynamic initiatives of the South African Consul General in Mumbai. In order to stimulate trade and investment with South Africa and the entire African continent, WTC Mumbai and AIAI proposes to organize an Africa Conclave in association with all the trade missions of African countries in India in future,” Dr Kalantri said adding that 600,000 Indian tourists visit South Africa and in future we need to promote South African tourists to India as well.