India, South Africa to conduct joint Naval exercise

Last Updated: Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 22:31

Sanya (China): India and South Africa
on Thursday decided to hold joint Naval exercises and fixed a new
trade target of USD 15 billion to be achieved by next year as
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Jacob Zuma met
here and discussed ways to boost overall ties.



During the 45-minute meeting on the sidelines of the
BRICS Summit, Zuma also informed Singh about his government`s
intention to invite President Pratibha Patil and Congress
chief Sonia Gandhi to his country.
The two leaders discussed a number of issues including
bilateral defence and economic ties, UN reforms and
developments in Libya and Ivory Coast, Secretary (Economic
Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry Manbir Singh told
reporters here.



Talking about the defence ties, the two leaders felt
that these could be further strengthened, Manbir Singh said.



In this context, it was decided that the two countries
would hold Naval exercises, the second such joint manoeuvres.



While taking stock of the trade ties, the two leaders
expressed satisfaction over the progress made.



It was noted that the two countries were well on way
to achieve the trade target of USD 12 billion by next year and
it was hence revised to USD 15 billion, Manbir Singh said.



Zuma said an invitation would be extended to the
Indian President to visit South Africa next year. South Africa
also intends to invite Gandhi to attend the centenary
celebrations of the African National Congress, the Secretary
said, adding the Prime Minister said the Indian government
would be responding appropriately.
Zuma also hailed India`s victory in the World Cup
cricket and said he had anticipated it after India`s win in
South Africa.



During the meeting, Singh and Zuma also talked about
the developments in Libya and Ivory Coast. The South African
President told Singh about the African Union`s initiation to
address the Libyan crisis by setting up a dialogue.



They also talked about UN reforms and how the two
countries could coordinate to achieve it.



The two leaders discussed the India-Brazil-South
Africa (IBSA) process and how it could be strengthened.



The IBSA process was also discussed when Singh had a
bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff,
with both feeling the need for forging closer cooperation
among the scientific communities of the three countries.



During the meeting, the two leaders felt that
bilateral trade, which was to the tune of USD 8 billion, was
quite low and efforts needed to be made to step it up.



In this regard, Rousseff suggested setting up of joint
ventures, particularly in the fields of information and
hi-tech.



The Prime Minister suggested that the CEOs Forum may
be re-activated.



They also discussed reform of the UN and the
International Monetary processes and agreed to convene a
meeting of finance experts of the two countries.
The fourth annual BRICS summit will be held in India
next year. The proposal was made by Prime Minister Singh which
was readily accepted by other members.



The first BRIC summit was held in Russia in 2009 and
the second was held in 2010 in Brasilia.



PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 22:31

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