45-member high-level business delegation from South Africa is in Chennai

State Government is in a position to offer technical assistance to South African firms in the fields of education and health, said Principal Secretary, Industries, Rajeev Ranjan, on Tuesday.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Indo - South Africa Investment and Trade', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said that due to explosive growth in technical and higher education, Tamil Nadu was home to 484 engineering colleges and was in a position to offer technical assistance.

“Tamil Nadu is one of the progressive states in the country and the advantages it offered are many. It is ranked among the top three investment destinations in the country and among the top 10 auto clusters in the world,” he said.

Mr. Ranjan called for deepening the trade ties for mutual benefit and to achieve the bilateral trade target of $10 billion by 2012.

A 45-member high-level business delegation from South Africa is in Chennai from November 13 to November 17, with the prime objective of promoting bilateral investment and trade between both the countries in key sectors such as Information Technology, tourism, construction, electronics, tyres, machinery, waste management and security services.

Jardine Omar, Trade Representative, South African High Commission, said that BRIC-South Africa-Indonesia and Vietnam contributed 37 per cent of global trade and asked India to expand its trade basket by importing more items.

In his special address, Loganathan Naidoo, Deputy Mayor of Ethekweni (Durban), narrated the similarities that existed between the two nations and recalled his first visit to Chennai in 2004.

The two nations have to continue their business ties to strengthen their links and bonds across the ocean, he said.

Harris Majeke, South African High Commissioner to India in New Delhi, said that South Africa was open for businesses and it encouraged new and collaborative investments in the fields of mining and ICT among others. Pradipta K. Mohapatra, past Chairman, CII-SR, said that the need of the hour was to have a direct air link between Chennai and Durban.