New Delhi: South Africa is the focus country at the 32nd India International Trade Fair (IITF) opening here Wednesday with more than 6,000 exhibitors from India and abroad.

Belarus will be the 'partner country' at the 14-day fair, and its Prime Minister Mikhail V. Myasnikovich will inaugurate it along with President Pranab Mukherjee. The trade target between India and South Africa has been set at USD15 billion by 2015. The earlier target of $10 billion by 2012 was surpassed a year ahead of schedule.

India is one of South Africa's top 10 exporting countries and among the top five nations importing from South Africa. From 2002 to 2011, South African exports to India increased by 21 percent, while imports from India went up by 28 percent.

Indian companies investing in South Africa include Mahindra, Tata, UB Group, pharmaceutical giants like Ranbaxy and CIPLA, IT companies and some in the mining sector. Several South African companies operate in India such as the Airports Company South Africa, which is assisting Mumbai airport, Sasol, First Rand Bank, Old Mutual (insurance) , SAB Miller (breweries) and Adcock Ingram (pharmaceuticals). There is now a new accent towards informal business development and cooperation at the level of small and medium enterprises, including for technology and market development.

During a recent visit to India, South Africa's Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe said that that her country wants to encourage Indian investment in all sectors.


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