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Minoo Dastur

Minoo Dastur is the President & COO of Nihilent Technologies.

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Indo-African Trade Creating a Window of Job Opportunities

South African companies have also invested in India in 24 projects. For South Africa, the leading sectors have been the financial sector, machinery and equipment, and software and IT services.

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The growing trade between India and Africa, and the concomitant investment, has been a noteworthy feature of Indo-African relations of late. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the value of India’s exports to Africa, largely comprising high-end consumer goods, has increased by over 100 per cent between 2008 and 2013. Similarly, the value of India’s imports from Africa has also grown by over 80 per cent during the same period. Besides, Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India, and vice versa, has also shown a healthy growth.

Relations with South Africa

Out of the African nations, India’s relations with South Africa with respect to trade and investment have improved particularly. Ever since 2003, as many as 60 Indian companies have invested more than $ 4 billion in South Africa, and, in the process, have created more than 10,000 jobs in that country. India's leading sectors for investment in South Africa have been software and IT services (17 projects) and financial services (14 projects). In addition, Indian companies have also invested in mining, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.

South African companies have also invested in India in 24 projects. For South Africa, the leading sectors have been the financial sector, machinery and equipment, and software and IT services.

In fact, India is now South Africa's sixth largest trade partner, with trade totalling almost 100 billion rand. The trade surplus has been in favour of India, with our exports to South Africa going up from 29 billion rand in 2011 to 54 billion rand in 2015. South Africa's exports to India have gone up to 41 billion rand from 24 billion rand in 2011.

With both countries desirous of enhancing trade, things are looking up even further. South Africa has declared that it is targeting a bilateral trade volume of USD 20 billion by 2018 from the current USD 15 billion.

Digitization set to increase job growth in South Africa

As with other developing nations, digitisation and mobile access are crucial to the growth of South Africa. The nation is all set to embrace investment in information and communication technology (ICT) and the next wave of the internet, the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is expected to connect people, processes, data and things, create job opportunities for South Africans, and benefit their organizations and businesses. Digitization will deliver new experiences to the citizenry, along with improved operational efficiencies, breakthrough innovations and new economic models for growth.

Digitization will require an agile IT model, and a rethink about the core processes of the economy. It is very likely to be a disruptive experience, as things will have to be done entirely differently. As more and more devices get connected, the development will benefit a wide range of industries and verticals, such as manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, utilities, government, healthcare, sports, entertainment and education. Efficiencies will go up and costs will come down.

Gartner has predicted that 75 per cent of global businesses will be digital by 2020. South Africa cannot take investment in digital technologies lightly; it will have to give topmost priority to migrating to a digital set-up.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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