Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will interact with the local industry in Johannesburg to help South Africa evolve a strong SME base to boost growth and job creation, while showcasing their products at the SAITEX exhibition in Johannesburg, reports media.

Indian High Commissioner Virendra Gupta said that India will share its experience in developing the SME sector in South Africa to help it promote economic growth and job creation at the annual South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX) next week.

Addressing the media, Gupta said India would be a partner country at SAITEX this year, with the biggest-ever participation to show the kind of collaboration that was possible between India and the countries of Southern Africa which would also be at the expo.

“India will be the most prominent and most visible participant at SAITEX this year,” Gupta said, adding that there had been robust trade between India and South Africa despite the economic downturn in recent years.

The trade between the two countries is around USD 10 billion and it is expected to reach USD 15 billion by 2015.

“I believe the need of the hour in South Africa is SME development, and I believe this is an area where the engagement between India and South Africa can be expanded considerably,” he added.

The participating SMEs will showcase how that sector has helped India to diversify and broadbase the country’s growth.

SMEs make it possible for people own businesses and generate real and effective empowerment, Gupta said.

They are also most effective for job creation, which is a pressing challenge and priority in South Africa, he added.

“We in India are ready to share our experience, both in terms of what kind of industrial activity and also policy frameworks need to be developed and our participation in SAITEX should go to underscore what the companies in those sectors can do here.”

The Indian delegation of over 70 Indian SMEs will have a composite 500 square metre exhibit at the three-day expo, instead of scattered stalls through the huge venues in the past.