India, S Africa to deepen ties in defence, manufacturing sectorsPretoria: Ratcheting up their traditional ties, India and South Africa on Friday, 08th July 2016 agreed to deepen 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.
"We know that we can count on the active support of our friends, like South Africa," he said. There were reports that South Africa was among countries which had reservations about India's bid to join the 48-nation grouping.
Holding that ties between India and South Africa have been a story of strong advances and concrete achievements, 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.
Later Modi went to Johansburg and visited Constitution Hill and Nelson Mandela Foundation. He inaugurated a special exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Prime Minister also met anti –apartheid revolutionaries and families at Johansburge.
A cultural programme was arranged by Indian Community on the occasion of Mod’s Visit to South Africa. Modi addressed the members of Indian Community after the cultural events, reports said.