About 100 captains of South African business and industry have expressed interest in participating in an global business meet being planned by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry on the periphery of the Commonwealth Games 2010 to be hosted in Delhi in October.
A delegation from Ficci explained the project to the businessmen at an India-South Africa Round Table in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
"The Commonwealth Business Club of India was formed to develop vibrant business relationships between India and other Commonwealth countries, and especially with South Africa," joint director-general and Organising Committee of CWG 2010 T S Darbari said .
With 71 nations participating from October 3 - 14, and more than 5,000 media delegates and 100,000 tourists expected, Darbari pointed out the advantages for South African business to participate in CBCI.
"We are looking at CWG 2010 as a larger opportunity to showcase our strengths within the Commonwealth nations", said Ambika Sharma, deputy secretary general, of Ficci, as she explained Ficci's efficacy as a mobilising force in Indian business as it sought global partnerships.
Indian consul-general Vikram Doraiswami said that South Africans wanting to invest in India should take advantage of the experience of Indian companies who have invested here in large measure in the past decade.
"Corporate South Africa has done a lot in India, but it needs to contribute to India's growth in a bigger way," Doraiswami said as he urged local business and industry to take advantage of the opportunity presented by CBCI.
"There will be networking opportunities at multinational level as many countries will be participating. The unique selling point there is the sheer scale of opportunity," Doraiswami said.
The chairman of the Ficci Task Force of CWG 2010, Vikramjit Singh Sahney, made a plea to the South African government to finalise the Southern African Customs Union Preferential Trade Agreement as soon as possible so that its neighbours in the region could also benefit through better trade relations with India.
Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Tjewith Keith Brebnor commended Ficci for having taken a similar approach to what the local organisation was doing for the FIFA World Cup to be hosted in South Africa in June this year.