Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish cooperation between India and South Africa in various grass root level innovation. The MoU was signed at Pretoria, capital of South Africa, in pursuance to the Inter-Government agreement between the two countries for cooperation in Science, Technology and Tourism in the month of July, 2016.
The Cabinet, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the MoU. Under that MoU, both countries will organise several programmes together, such as forums, seminars, workshops, and training on matters related to innovation and will share open source technologies with each other. Both the countries will jointly develop projects, including partnering with relevant industries in the respective countries. To assist innovators in converting their ideas into commercially viable innovations leading to joint technology development and transfer of technology for societal benefit.
Focus on Tourism
The signed MoU on tourism has been approved, focusing on to expanding the bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector, exchanging information and data between these two countries, related to tourism. This MoU will also encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders with an inclusion of hotels and tour operators. This will emphasize on establishment of exchange programmes for cooperation in human resource development and investment in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Other objectives of this tourism MoU is to exchange the experiences in the areas of promotion, education, marketing, destination development and in management sectors and also for increasing participation in travel fairs/exhibitions in each other’s country, and to promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism. This MoU will encourage visits of Tour Operators/Media/ Opinion Makers and tourists from both countries for promotion of two way tourism.
e-Visa for South African tourists
To increase the number count of tourists from South Africa, India has extended the electronic tourist visa (eTV) facility for the South African nationals which elicited good response from travel trade of both the countries. Building on the friendly bilateral relation with South Africa, India received approximately 51,922 tourists from South Africa in 2015. South Africa is an emerging tourism source market for India. The MoU will be an implementation to increase arrival from this emerging source market.
Business ties strengthened
Top business tycoons from India and South Africa signed eight MoUs leading to increased cooperation in an extensive range of areas between these two nations.
These were signed at the South Africa-India CEOs Forum on the sidelines of Narendra Modi’s primary visit there aiming at further bolstering cooperation on economic, political, social and international areas.
MoUs also look at industrial development. Hindustan Zinc Limited signed one MoU with Minova Africa for betterment and supply of rock support systems for underground mining in India; and another with Feremel for the supply and maintenance of underground mining equipments to improve safety, efficiency and productivity in modern mechanised underground mines.
India’s Ion Exchange Safic, a leading waste and water treatment company with a presence in South Africa, will collaborate with Stefanutti Stocks SA in large scale water and effluent treatment projects in South Africa.
Gordon Institute of Business Science has signed an MoU with ISB Hyderabad to collaborate on a senior executive programme, student exchange, faculty exchange and joint research.
Apart from them, MMI Holdings and Aditya Birla Nuvo signed a MoU to form a Joint Venture in the health and insurance sector in India. SAAB Grintek Defence and Tata Power signed an agreement for production of land electronic defence systems in India. An MoU signed between Pioneer Global Enterprises of India and Armscor to produce ultrasonic broken railway detector systems for Indian Railways also includes an emphasis on technology transfer. The biggest MoU is signed between the Dube Trade Port in Durban and Cipla India, which will see a Rand 1.3 billion bio similar plant being set up in the special export zone to produce cheaper drugs for local government and private sector supply as well as export.
These bilateral agreements aims to provide a better mechanism and help creating an ecosystem that will endorse innovations and entrepreneurships at the very basic level in both the countries with special focus on native knowledge systems and Agriculture Biotechnology.