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Posted on Sep 13, 12:45PM | IANS
State-owned Bank of India (BoI) has opened its first branch here in a move to enhance the relationship between South Africa and India while contributing to the overall development of the BRICS grouping.
BoI Managing Director Shri Alok K. Misra said increasing business interaction and trade between the two emerging economic power houses means that banking demand of doing business is rising, Xinhua reported.
"BoI believes that the growing trade between India and South Africa has the capacity to accept another bank from India," Misra said.
During state visit of then Indian president Pratibha Patil to South Africa in May, both countries agreed to increase two-way trade to USD 15 billion by 2014 from USD 10.64 billion. Patil and South African President Jacob Zuma called for increased businesses in both countries.
Misra said that with its presence in South Africa, BOI plans to be involved in the commercial lending to various business programs, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
"As part of business we also intend to take up the proposal for lending to small and medium-sized enterprises within which financing to the small scale industrial units can also be taken up on the basis of its techno-economic viability," he said.
BoI is set to play a key role in the development of Africa. Earlier this year Zuma called on Indian business to take advantage of the huge opportunities on the African continent, particularly in infrastructure and communication.
South Africa and India both are members of BRICS, which also includes Brazil, Russia and China.