South Africa invites investments from Indian companies

New Delhi, Jan 10 (PTI) South Africa on Thursday invited Indian companies to invest in the country and said people from India have "richly contributed" to the nation's "economic development for generations". South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Regina Mhaule in her address at the Raisina Dialogue here also acknowledged India's pioneering role in gaining international support for the fight against apartheid. "As the people of South Africa sought to overthrow the shackles of oppression brought to bear upon us, India...was one of the most principled supporters of the struggle against apartheid and racial discrimination," she said."It was India which consistently called on the international community to act on the issue of apartheid in South Africa in international fora," Mhaule added. Asserting that her country is an "attractive investment destination", the African leader invited Indian businesses to "pursue the many opportunities available" in South Africa.She said the arrival of first Indians in South Africa over 150 years ago "richly contributed to the nation's diversity and economic development for generations". Reflecting on the strong historical and cultural links between the two countries, Mhaule said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be the chief guest at India's Republic Day celebrations later this month further "cemented the bilateral relationship", which covers a wide array of areas, from political to economic, scientific and multilateral cooperation. The minister also recounted how a visit of late President Nelson Mandela to India led to the formation of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation (now IORA).She said the relations between the two countries have grown from "strength to strength". "We join the Indian people in the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The values that he lived and espoused would continue to shape our sister countries," Mhaule said. PTI FH SCY