Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said the Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) was part of his ministry's objective to create market penetration for South African value-added products and services in India and to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.

"The invitation is open to manufacturers and exporters in the agro-processing, chemicals, mining and minerals and capital equipment aiming to do business in India," Davies said.

The South African Department of Trade and Industry is providing substantial incentives for local companies to participate in the sixth ITI to be held in Kolkata and Hyderabad from February 23–27.

The ITI is also open to companies seeking to attract foreign direct investment and project owners seeking joint venture partnerships in pharmaceuticals, mining, renewable energy and infrastructure.

The South African companies applying to participate in the mission will be screened and selected in line with the Department's Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) requirements.

The approved companies will receive a subsistence allowance, an economy-class return airfares and excess baggage allowance for displaying material and samples.

The total trade between India and South Africa was worth Rands 80.9 billion in 2013 with a trade balance of Rands 22.9 billion in favour of India. Although figures for 2014 are not yet finalised, economists are optimistic that these figures would be exceeded.

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