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South Africa Endorses India as Member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group

South Africa has endorsed India’s candidature to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The NSG seeks to prevent nuclear proliferation by keeping a check on the export of material, equipment and technology that can lead to the making of a nuclear bomb.

President Jacob Zuma is hosting his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on a two-day state visit to the country. The two leaders also discussed expanding trade now standing at over 94 billion rand.

Trade is currently skewed in India’s favour with South Africa exporting about 41 billion rand worth of goods while importing just over 53 billion rand worth of goods and services.

Modi lobbied Pretoria to support their bid to become a member of the Nuclear Supplies Group. Previous attempts by New Dehli to get into the 48 member Group have been rebuffed by mainly China  because Dehli is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. South Africa also had reservations.

However during bilateral talks with President Zuma at the Union Buildings,  Prime Minister Modi secured a major victory with Pretoria now backing their membership bid.

Prime Minister Modi says, “President Zuma and I agreed at the need to work closely on global challenges.  I thank the President for South Africa support to India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.  We know we can count on your active support of our friends like South Africa.”

Modi is visiting four African countries to bolster economic trade with the continent.  He backed South Africa’s initiatives to diversify its exports to the Asian state.

The two countries have identified new areas for market access in Defence, Deep Mining,Renewable Energy and Health sectors. President Zuma has emphasised the need for greater cooperation between the two  BRICS member countries to build  financial institutions such as the BRICS Development Bank.

President Zuma says, “India, through its representative, Honourable K.V. Kamath is shaping the New Development Bank (BRICS BANK) to be a formidable player in financing much needed infrastructure in Africa and the rest of the developing world.  As South Africa, we hope to open the first regional centre of the New Development Bank dedicated to infrastructure projects in Africa.”

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India and South Africa have also agreed to scale up cooperation in the defence and security sector.  Prime Minister Modi says as regional powerhouses they need modern defence technologies to respond to global security challenges.

“In India this is one of the sectors witnessing a complete transformation.  It offers opportunities in defence trade and also to respond to global and regional demands.”

Meanwhile, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says  there is a lot to learn from India’s celebrated entrepreneurial spirit which is a cornerstone of that country’s impressive economic growth.

Minister Zulu says, “The Prime Minister indicated that their economic development depends on small and medium enterprises.  Financial support from banks which would work well  with us because many of our small enterprises suffer access to finance.”

Prime Minister Modi will conclude his state visit in Durban on Saturday where he will embark on a symbolic and historic tour – following in the footsteps  of pre-eminent leader of the Indian Independence Movement in then British – ruled India  Mahatma Gandhi. KwaZulu-Natal is home to the largest Indian diaspora in the world.

South Africa is exporting about R41 billion worth of goods and importing just over R53 billion worth of goods and services.

However, the trade balance is heavily skewed in India’s favour.  Addressing the media, President Zuma says South Africa and India will cooperate closely to build financial institutions such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Development Bank.

“India, through its representative, Honourable K.V. Kamath, is shaping the New Development Bank (BRICS bank) to be a formidable player in financing much needed infrastructure in Africa and the rest of the developing world.  As South Africa, we hope to open the first regional centre of the New Development Bank dedicated to infrastructure projects in Africa.”

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