Ramaphosa in India for bilateral talks

South Africa

In addition to bilateral talks with the Indian government, President Cyril Ramaphosa will also be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day military parade only the second South African President after Nelson Mandela to get the honour.

Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, marking a new chapter in India’s relationship with South Africa.

Strategic Expert Harsh Pant says, “South Africa because of the political uncertainty there- the relationship has not moved forward. The two countries will be hoping that questions relating to SA investment coming to India are ironed out. Lot of investment going to SA from India but we’ve not seen a reciprocal movement. You’re looking at India-SA redefining the relationship.”

The tourism, e-commerce, renewable energy and biotechnology sectors are where India is hopes to attract South African investors.

President Ramaphosa who will be accompanied by nine ministers and a 50-member business delegation will also address a trade forum in New Delhi. Bilateral trade has been stuck at about R140 billion but both sides say they are keen to see that number double by 2021.

Experts say India is also prepared to discuss an ongoing income tax probe against the Gupta brothers that’s seen no progress. The Guptas continue to make several visits to India every year and former ambassador Skand Tayal says if South Africa were to ask for India’s help, New Delhi would likely give assistance.

“For India, it would be a request from a friendly country. Will be dealt with full speed by our authorities. I anticipate no difficulty nor any hesitation on the part of Indian authorities to take action against Gupta brothers if the request comes in.”




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