Pretoria: Presenting India as the one of the most open economies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited South African businesses to participate in its transformation march and tap the huge opportunities by enhancing investment and diversifying the basket of trade.
Addressing top business leaders of India and South Africa here, he invoked the "greatest leaders" Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi to underline the historical ties and asked the companies to take advantage of the geographical links as well.
Modi said South African business excellence and Indian capacities must leverage each other for growth and development in our two countries.
Out to hardsell India, he described the country as "a bright star in the global economy" as he referred to its high growth rate of 7.6 per cent and spoke about efforts to improve 'ease of doing business' in an environment-friendly manner.
"Our leaders like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi brought political freedom for us. Now, it is the time to work for economic freedom. Thus, our relations rest upon our common desire to fulfil the aspirations of our people," Modi told the business meet attended by South African President Jacob Zuma as well as about 500 top captains of business and industry.
"We have been friends in adversities. Now we should franchise in opportunities," he added.
Talking about the opportunities, Modi said, "India today is among the most open economies. We have liberalised our FDI regime in most of the areas and in all possible ways. We have rationalised our norms and made it simple for businesses to establish and grow."
Emphasising that the "scope is tremendous", he said, "The potential is increasing day by day. This is because both countries are strengthening their economic fundamentals. Therefore, we must look at ways to diversify our trade basket, to complement our needs and to serve the people."