Johannesburg, Sep 30 (PTI) As business gathers steam after over two-year COVID-19 lull, an event to be held here next month will shift the focus back on improving the trade relations between South Africa and India, especially in the small and medium business enterprise sectors.

Organised jointly by the Consulate General of India, Johannesburg in association with leading South African bank Nedbank and networking company Yobuning, the event, to be held on October 14 and titled ‘India-South Africa: Growing Together', will bring together representatives of many companies in South Africa and local entrepreneurs.

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Announcing the event here on Thursday, India's Consul General in Johannesburg Anju Ranjan said the focus would be not only on doing more business with India but also on the Indian companies to help their South African counterparts grow, which would then benefit both countries.

“The event is aimed at business-to-business networking and to discuss opportunities and challenges in the key sectors of the two countries to enhance the strong bilateral relations, as well as to develop closer strategic, commercial and economic ties to strengthen the entrusted partnership of the India-South Africa business connect," she said.

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“Although the Consulate does not usually get involved with networking events per se, we felt that this one after the COVID-19 lull would help reaffirm relationships between partners in both countries. It will also help in establishing new relationships as businesses in both countries start moving back towards the pre-Covid situation and better it,” Ranjan said.

India and South Africa share an excellent business relationship. The bilateral trade between the two countries reached USD 17 billion in the last financial year.

The business sectors of India interact regularly with the businesses of South Africa, especially in the sectors of IT, mining, infrastructure, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and heavy machinery, among others, Ranjan said.

The initiative is aimed at creating long-term value for ‘Brand India' and the 'Make in India' initiative of the Government of India, under the aegis of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', she said.

Unlike some similar events where those participating were required to pay a fee, this event will be free of charge.

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