Syed Muthahar Saqaf
keen on having
a permanent industrial
DURBAN: South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) has encouraging and close relationship with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and other Indian trade bodies and has initiated effective steps to further strengthen the ties.
“We have a strong relationship with the CII and both have jointly organised a few programmes for the mutual benefit of trade and industry of South Africa and India in the recent past. SACCI and other trade bodies of South Africa feel that Indian business houses can play a major role in South Africa,” Babu Baijoo, President of the SACCI told visiting Indian media team at Pietermaritzburg city near Durban recently. The press conference was held under the auspices of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB).
Explaining the activities launched by the SACCI and CII together, Mr. Baijoo said, two programmes — a week long exhibition of chemical and its allied products by an Indian company at Durban; and a buyer seller meet — were held in the recent past.
A total of 41 different chambers of business are affiliated to the SACCI and 53 corporate houses are its direct members.
Mr. Baijoo said PCB, affiliated to the SACCI, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chennai, for “establishing a relationship of mutual assistance and pave way for the visit of delegations from both sides”.
Mr. Baijoo, who is also a former president of the PCB, said that Durban and Pietermaritzburg have a strong concentration of manufacturing sector, including automobile industry, cooking oil refineries, growing food, pharmaceutical, textile and footwear sector.
The construction of a new international airport at Durban would prove a further boon for trade and industry here, he added.
On the impact of economic recession, Mr. Baijoo said compared to other countries, South Africa felt the economic slowdown a little late. “However, we are on the path of recovery. As we felt the impact slowly, our recovery is also moving at a slower pace. Things are now looking up. We are expecting an overall industrial growth of ten per cent by next year,” he added.
The SACCI was also taking steps to have a permanent industrial exhibition in South Africa on the lines of the one at Pragathi Maidan in New Delhi, Mr. Baijoo said.
Tinus Havinga, President of the PCB, and Andrew Layman, CEO, who were also present at the press meet, said that industrial houses have lot of potentials in South Africa and in particular chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
India can also concentrate in launching projects for producing energy in South Africa, they added.