16-18 July 2025
Johannesburg Expo Centre, South Africa

MARKET OVERVIEW

INDIA-SOUTH AFRICA TRADE RELATIONS

  • In 2021, bilateral trade between the two countries reached around US$ 17 billion.
  • South Africa occupies the 35th position in FDI equity inflows into India with a cumulative FDI amount of US$ 589.76 million from April 2000 – September 2022.
  • In 2022 (January 2022 – November 2022), bilateral trade between India and South Africa reached around US$ 17,981 million.

South Africa is the 2 nd largest economy on the African continent with a GDP of USD 350 billion

India-South Africa Trade

India-SA trade in 2017-2018 (Apr’17-Feb’18) was at USD 9.380 billion with Indian Exports at USD 3.546 billion and Indian Imports at USD 5.834 billion. From a continental perspective, 44.7% of South Africa’s total imports, and 32% of South African exports by value in 2017 were from/to Asian countries. India was the 4 th largest importing partner and the 5th largest export destination for South Africa in 2017-18.

(Figures in Billion USD) 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
INDIA’S EXPORTS 5.074 5.301 3.588 3.052 3.546
INDIA’S IMPORTS 6.075 6.496 5.907 5.096 5.834
TOTAL 11.149 11.797 9.495 8.148 9.380

Indian Business in South Africa

Indian business has a large presence in South Africa with an investment of over USD 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.

India Exports to South Africa was US$8.27 Billion during 2022, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

The resource rich Southern African Customs Union (SACU), a customs union among five countries of Southern Africa: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa, is one of the largest suppliers of raw primary or semi-processed commodities. According to the ministry of commerce, five rounds of negotiations regarding a potential India-SACU preferential trade agreement have been held thus far.

“There are gains to in pharma, iron and steel sectors. Exports are close to $9bn and imports are about $11-12bn. Trade balance also needs correction. About 38% of the exports are automobiles. There are gains to be made there. Tariffs are as high as 20-25%. South Africa is number one in passenger automobile exports,

During 2021, India had a large net trade with South Africa in the exports of Transportation ($1.9B), Mineral Products ($1.26B), and Chemical Products ($1.06B). During 2021, South Africa had a large net trade with India in the exports of Precious Metals ($4.33B), Mineral Products ($3.11B), and Metals ($923M).

FDI in Africa

South Africa occupies the 35th position in FDI equity inflows into India with a cumulative FDI amount of US$ 589.76 million from April 2000 – September 2022. According to data from the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), approved cumulative India’s investments in Africa from April 1996 to March 2022 amounted to US$ 73.9 billion. Setting up a Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) is the most preferred route of investment for Indian investors in Africa, with nearly 81.6% of the total approved investments from April 2010- March 2022. Joint Ventures accounted for 18.4% of the total approved investments during the same period. Africa’s manufacturing sector attracted the highest Indian investments from April 2010-March 2022. Other major sectors attracting Indian investments include financial, insurance, real estate, and business services, agriculture and allied sectors, transport, storage, and communication services.