Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma visited South Africa on 21-22 September 2012 for bilateral meetings with his counterpart. During his visit, he also called on President Jacob Zuma and discussed global and regional developments and areas of bilateral cooperation. President Zuma conveyed his deep respect for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi and mentioned that there was a meeting of mind between the two countries and they had common approach on issues of global importance. He mentioned that South Africa will be hosting the next BRICS Summit next year. Minister Sharma informed him that India was preparing to host the IBSA Summit in June next year. Minister Sharma emphasized the need for early conclusion of the India-SACU Preferential Trade Agreement as it would complete IBSA-SACU-Mercosur trilateral.
Earlier in the day, Minister Sharma met Rob Davies, South African Trade Minister. Both Ministers expressed satisfaction at the fact that the bilateral trade had crossed US$14 billion last year and that we would be able to meet the target of US$ 15 billion this year itself, well ahead of the 2014 timeline. They also took stock of the ongoing India-SACU negotiations on Preferential Trade Agreement. Both Ministers noted the growing private investments on both sides. Indian companies had already invested over US$ 8 billion in South Africa.