India economic relations with South Africa
Recently, India’s economic engagement with South Africa is being strengthened again.
- The Import-Export Bank of India (Exim Bank) has issued a working paper. It emphasized the need for a strategic alliance between India and the South African Development Community (SADC) countries.
- SADC was established in the year 1980. This group includes 16 countries. All these countries account for 35.4 percent of Africa’s total land area, 28.4 percent of its overall GDP and 28.2 percent of its population.
- SADC and India share a strong and deep relationship. The two had a total trade of US$ 30.8 billion in the mid year 2021. Additionally, US$ 69.9 billion has been invested from India in SADC in the last 26 years.
- As such, SADC is an important trade partner for India.
Strategies to Strengthen India’s Engagement with SADC
- Rare Earth Elements (REE): The SADC region is rich in lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, copper and other REEs.
- Maritime and Defense Cooperation: SADC countries are major defense export destinations for India. It also includes 9 African countries (IOLC) located on the coast of the Indian Ocean.
- Both sides can work on ensuring a fear-free and secure maritime environment based on the collaborative framework of the SAGAR/SAGAR Initiative (Security and Development for All in the Region).
- The manufacturing value chain in SADC can be developed by increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through Indian companies in the manufacturing sector.
- Strategic alliances should be formed for arranging other important mineral resources through joint exploration activities for the electric vehicle value chain.
Source – The Hindu