India – South Africa relations

The relations between India and South Africa are age old. India was at the forefront in supporting South Africa in its anti apartheid movement in 1946. However, after 1950s the trade and relations were not as good as earlier. It was again restored in 1993 after the opening of cultural center in Johannesburg.

Trade flourished between the countries after 1993. The imports from South Africa to India in 2016 – 17 were 5833.75 million USD. It included gold, copper ores, phosphoric acid, aluminum, manganese ore, etc. The exports to South Africa in the same year was around 3545.95 million USD. It includes pharmaceuticals, textiles, jewelry, rice, footwear, dyes, drugs, etc.

India provides 1000 slots under the ITEC program. Under the program, the South African citizens are trained under various fields like mass communication, poverty alleviation, agriculture, information and communication technology, journalism, multi – skill development training, rural development.

India – South Africa Joint Commission was set up in 1994. So far 10 commission meetings were held with the last meeting happening in 2018.

In 2003, India and South Africa along with Brazil signed Brasilia Declaration. The declaration was to create IBSA Dialogue Forum. IBSA is India, Brazil and South Africa. It called for cooperation on commercial, strategic and cultural affairs and development of Free Trade between the countries. The three countries have pledged to boost the trilateral trade to 15 billion USD. The nations have also expanded military cooperation and conducted joint naval exercises. The declaration also emphasized on both the countries supporting each other for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council.

There are more than 1.5 million Indian community living in South Africa. The major part of the community came to South Africa in 1860 as farm labor and mill operatives in sugar and agricultural plantations.


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