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India, SA to deepen ties in defence, manufacturing sectors

PTI Pretoria | Updated on January 17, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with South African President Jacob Zuma during a meeting in Pretoria, South Africa on Friday. PTI Photo

Pretoria: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with South African President Jacob Zuma during a meeting meeting in Pretoria, South Africa on Friday. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh (PTI7_8_2016_000081B)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in South Africa. Photo credit: @MEAIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in South Africa. Photo credit: @MEAIndia

India and South Africa today agreed to deepen their engagement in key areas of defence production, manufacturing, mining and minerals while vowing to cooperate “actively” in combating terrorism and dealing with issues at multilateral fora.

After extensive talks with South African President Jacob Zuma, Prime Minister Narendra Modi projected India as an attractive destination for manufacturing of defence equipment and platforms and said both countries can join hands in not only meeting needs of each other but also to respond to regional and global demand.

South Africa is a major player in defence production globally.

During the meeting, Modi thanked President Zuma for South Africa’s support to India’s membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. “We know that we can count on the active support of our friends, like South Africa,” he said. Modi said there was potential to ramp up cooperation in trade and investment, especially in areas of minerals and mining, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and information technology.

In a joint press interaction with Zuma, Modi invoked Mahatma Gandhi and said he belongs as much to India as to South Africa.

“For me personally, this visit is an opportunity to pay homage to two of the greatest human souls to have ever walked this Earth – Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela,” said Modi.

Referring to opportunities in the defence and security sector, Modi said companies from both countries can pool their capacities to jointly develop or manufacture defence equipment and platforms.

“Beyond economic ties, and links of business, trade and investment, we can also partner in the field of defence and security. Both, at the level of industry and for our strategic and security needs,” he said.

He said the defence sector in India is witnessing a complete transformation and offers exciting opportunities.

“Our companies can also pool their capacities to jointly develop or manufacture defence equipments and platforms. And, not just to meet our defence needs, but also to respond to regional and global demand,” he said.

Published on July 08, 2016

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