Bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of South Africa have developed strongly since the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. Since then, the two countries have developed close strategic, cultural and economic ties. Both are former British colonies and full-fledged Commonwealth Of Nations member states as Commonwealth republics. DTI uses strong relationships between governments and mechanisms to promote a development agenda in Africa focused on identifying and implementing joint investment projects in partner countries; Promote trade between the two parties; coordination of technical cooperation and South Africa`s support for political and institutional development in partner countries; promote the development of cross-border infrastructure, particularly on the basis of the SDI methodology; promote regional integration by strengthening and consolidating the South African Customs Union (SACU) free trade agreement and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement; and negotiate investment protection and economic cooperation agreements. On 6 June 2003, India and South Africa signed an agreement with Brazil, known as the Brasalia Declaration, which bases “South-South” cooperation on the premise of the three nations as regional powers of South Asia, Southern Africa and South America. The declaration called for broad tripartite cooperation in strategic, trade and cultural affairs, the development of a tripartite free trade agreement and a negotiating front with Western nations in the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling for reform of the UN Security Council and mutually supporting the search for lasting membership with veto rights.   The IBSA Dialogue Forum was established to promote cooperation and consensus on trade, anti-poverty, intellectual property rights, social development, agriculture, climate change, culture, defence, education, energy, health, information society, science and technology, peaceful nuclear energy, tourism and transport.   The fourth summit was held in Brasilia. The three nations have agreed to increase trilateral trade to $15 billion by 2010.  The three nations also developed military cooperation and conducted joint naval exercises in 2008.  There is duty-free trade between South Africa and the four other countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini) that make up the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The 2012 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement allows duty-free trade between 12 of the 15 members.
The Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and South Africa, which came into force in 2000, has made available a progressive free trade agreement (FTA) that has become the cornerstone of the regional trading landscape.