About Us India - South Africa Bilateral Economic Engagement

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India-South Africa economic and trade partnership: A snap shot

South African Economy

South Africa is the 2nd largest economy on the African continent with a GDP of US$ 350 billion. It is a diversified economy but heavily dependent on services and commodities, with industrial activity comprising 29% of GDP. It grew by 1.9% in 2013, 1.5% in 2014 and approx. 1% in 2015. Going beyond economic growth, what makes South Africa a strategic destination for Indian companies is its potential to act as a platform for engagement with Africa at large.

India-South Africa Trade

South Africa is India’s largest trading partner in the Sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria. Trade balance has always been in favour of South Africa.

In US$





India’s Exports

4.7 bn

5.1 bn

5.07 bn


India’s Imports



6.07 bn



15.6 bn

13.9 bn

11.1 bn


India’s exports to SA have seen more than a five-fold increase in the last 10 years: it increased from US$ 984 million in 2004-05 to US$5.29 billion in 2014-15. During the same period, India-South Africa bilateral trade saw a jump from US$ 3.08 billion in 2004-05 to US$11.78 billion in 2014-15. South African exports to India grew from US $2.1 billion in 2004-05 to US$ 6.49 billion in 2014-15.

There is substantial potential for further growth in trade between the two countries. Indian exporters can leverage opportunities in food, sports goods, outdoor furniture and furnishings, home appliances, home décor, carpets and rugs, chemicals, health and nutrition, wellness and nature care market segments in South Africa.

Exports from India to South Africa include petrochemicals & fuel, drugs and pharmaceuticals, vehicles and components thereof, transport equipment, engineering goods, footwear, dyes and intermediates, chemicals, textiles, rice, gems and jewellery, sports goods etc. Distillate fuel happens to be the largest Indian export to SA.

Imports from South Africa to India include gold, diamond, thermal and coking coal, copper ores & concentrates, phosphoric acid, manganese ore, aluminium ingots & other mineral resources.

Indian Business in South Africa

Indian business have a large presence in South Africa with an investment of over US$ 8-9 billion. The main areas of our engagement are pharmaceutical, IT, automobile, banking and mining, but there are still other sectors where our companies are doing brisk business. Indian businesses in South Africa have organised themselves into a platform called the India Business Forum. The Forum presently has 90 members. High Commissioner of India is the Chief Patron of this Forum. Leading Indian companies in South Africa are: TATAs, Sun Pharma, Dr.Reddys, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T, Jindal, Vedanta, TCS, WIPRO, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, HCL, Zensar, Nihilent, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, EXIM Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank among others.

South African business in India

Several South African companies have invested in India. Leading among them are SANLAM [insurance], Life Healthcare [healthcare], Momentum [insurance], Airport Company of South Africa [Mumbai airport], First Rand bank, Old Mutual, SAB Miller [ brewery], NASPERS [ e-commerce] , Smollan [retail ] among others.