A Match Made in Parliament
South Africa and India have a lot more in common than just their executive government buildings, which are carbon copies designed by renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker for New Delhi and Pretoria.
Building strong associations between the Parliaments of South Africa and that of India has been highlighted as “a critical step in strengthening cooperation between the two countries. We welcome the stance to improve cooperation between the South African and Indian governments, and we also believe that the two Parliaments should heighten their co-operation in order to ensure effective implementation of agreements signed by the two governments,” says the Speaker of the National Assembly Mr Max Sisulu.
He disclosed that the Speaker of the Indian Parliament is scheduled to visit South Africa later this year. This comes after a meeting between Parliament’s presiding officers and the Indian delegation led by Indian President Ms Pratibha Patil.
President Patil, who is on a week-long visit to South Africa, said the two countries would monitor the implementation of previous agreements on health, science and technology, renewable energy, tourism, infrastructure development and in other fields.
President Patil said she was confident that trade between India and South Africa would reach USD$15bn by 2015 as the two had become important trading partners. “The economic and commercial exchange between our two countries is at the core of our bilateral ties,” she said.
South Africa and India are members of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) trilateral, a coordinating mechanism comprising the three emerging countries. As multi-ethnic and multicultural democracies they aim to contribute to the construction of a new international architecture, to pool their thoughts on global issues and to deepen their ties in various areas. IBSA opens itself to concrete projects of cooperation and partnership with less developed countries.
More recently South Africa also became a member of the BRICS group (Brazil Russia India China and South Africa).
by Temba Gubula