The two leaders discussed areas like trade and investment, food security, and defence

Meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Germany on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa discussed the full range of bilateral ties between the two sides.

The talks covered diverse sectors including economic cooperation and improving connectivity, Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet.

"Glad to have met President @CyrilRamaphosa in Germany. Our talks covered diverse sectors including economic cooperation, improving connectivity and deepening ties in food processing and FinTech," PM Modi tweeted.

Providing information about the meeting, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) described South Africa as a "valued partner".

"Boosting engagement with a valued partner. PM @narendramodi and President @CyrilRamaphosa held talks on the sidelines of the G-7 Summit. They discussed the full range of friendship between India and South Africa including ways to boost trade and people-to-people ties," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a separate tweet.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), both leaders reviewed the progress made in bilateral relations between the two countries, particularly following the signing of the Strategic Programme of Cooperation in 2019.

They expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved in defence, education and agriculture sectors, and reiterated the need for further deepening bilateral cooperation in areas like trade and investment, food security, defence, pharmaceuticals, digital financial inclusion, skill development, insurance, health and people to people contacts.

"Both leaders also welcomed the WTO agreement reached in June 2022 that supports the production of COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries. India and South Africa had submitted the first proposal suggesting a waiver for all WTO members on the implementation of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to the prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19," the MEA added.

Discussions were also held on continued coordination in multilateral bodies and the need for their reform, particularly the UN Security Council.

2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between India and South Africa, and both countries have closely cooperated with each other at multilateral forums like BRICS and IBSA.

It is worth recalling that President Ramaphosa was the chief guest at India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations in 2019.

Given that 3% of South Africa's population is of Indian descent, the two nations also share unique cultural ties.