Durban / May 19, 2015
1. The 9th Session of the India-South Africa Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) was held in Durban on 19th May 2015. It was co-Chaired by Foreign Minister Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj. Officials from the 7 Sub-Committees under the JMC were also present for the meeting.
2. To make the JMC more result-oriented, the two Ministers agreed to work under the framework of a five year strategic programme of cooperation. They identified the following priority areas of cooperation: defence, deep-mining, science and technology, agriculture & food processing and insurance. To facilitate this, a new Joint Working Group on Trade & Economic matters would be established. Furthermore, the South African side suggested that negotiations be launched to arrive at an India-South Africa Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). The Indian side welcomed this. Talks would be initiated at the earliest in this regard.
3. It was also decided to set up a new Sub-Committee on Science & Technology, and promote cooperation in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
4. Prior to the JMC, Minister Swaraj called on H.E. President Jacob Zuma and extended the invitation of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi to President Jacob Zuma to attend the third India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III) in October 2015 in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister also extended on invitation for the same to Foreign Minister Mashabane. Both President Zuma and Minister Mashabane conveyed their appreciation and stated that they look forward to a successful Summit.
5. Minister Mashabane also assured that South Africa would support India’s membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
6. The two Ministers also discussed regional and multilateral issues including BRICS, IBSA, IORA, counter-terrorism, cyber security, reforms of multilateral institutions, especially the United Nations Security Council. They recognized the need for urgent reform of the UN Security Council and agreed that 2015, being the 70th anniversary of the UN, presented a unique opportunity to expedite the reform process and work towards a concrete outcome.
7. Minister Swaraj and Minister Mashabane decided to hold the next Session of the Joint Ministerial Commission in India at mutually convenient dates in 2017.