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President Zuma’s state to India Boosts co-operation in ICT, media and entertaiment sector

Filmmaker, Anant Singh who was part of President Zuma’s delegation on the State Visit to India said today that the visit had served to promote new areas of business co-operation between India and South Africa. This was one of the largest ever delegations of government and business leaders to a foreign country. Singh was the South African co-chair with Tata Consultancy Services director, Girish Ramachandran at a session on ICT, Media and Entertainment during the visit.

“There’s a great deal of interest in the ICT, media and entertainment sector from Indian companies,” said Singh. It is promising that they have displayed a keen interest to work in South Africa. From the perspective of the film industry, production companies have indicated that they would like to shoot at the new Cape Town Film Studios which will open in October this year, based on the film industry incentives. It is also encouraging that the high tech Indian animation industry is looking at significant projects in South Africa. We are also seriously considering collaborations with Indian feature and documentary filmmakers in India and we are currently assessing projects,” continued Singh.

Singh also attended the re-launch of the India-South Africa CEO Forum with President Zuma and India’s Minister of Commerce, Anand Sharma and co-chairs of the Forum, Ratan Tata from the Indian side and Patrice Motsepe from the South African side. At the event, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) pledged greater co-operation and collaboration between businesses of both countries. Singh and Videovision Entertainment are founding members of the Forum which was established seven years ago.

The South African and Indian governments and their respective business sectors are also enthusiastic about the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in South Africa. This occasion will further promote the links between the countries on various levels, including culture, business and academia. Singh also said that he was actively engaging with key personalities in the Indian entertainment industry to participate in events celebrating the 150 years in South Africa later this year.

Trade between India and South Africa currently stands at US$ 7.5 billion dollars annually, however President Zuma said he wanted that to grow to US$10 billion dollars by 2012. The visit by Zuma also served to strengthen the high level of co-operation that the two countries enjoy, and together with Brazil, India and South Africa have formed an informal grouping of emerging market nations, advocating a stronger voice in international institutions such as the IMF and the United Nations.

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