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South Africa Pushes Trade Treaty Talks With India

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

21 March 2012

The completion of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between South Africa and India was anticipated at a recent business seminar hosted by South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Chennai, India.

South Africa's High Commissioner to India, Harris Majeke, pointed out that India and South Africa's bilateral relations continue to yield positive results. Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown from USD4bn to USD11.1bn over the period from 2005 to 2011. The current target is now total trade of USD15bn by 2014-15.

He added that India ranked among the top ten investing countries in South Africa, with investments estimated at over USD6bn to date. Similarly, South Africa's investments into India have also been growing steadily with investment amounting to USD250m.

Initiatives to increase the pace of economic cooperation between the two countries include the negotiation a PTA, which should “further accelerate trade flows and extend the range of traded goods,” he said.

While a timeframe has still not been set for its completion, although they were started in 2007, negotiations for a PTA to reduce tariffs on certain products traded between India and Southern African Customs Union (SACU), comprising South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia, are still proceeding.

Following completion of the PTA in goods, it is hoped that talks will begin on a free trade agreement in both goods and services.

The seminar formed part of the DTI’s five-day third international Investment and Trade Initiative. It was attended by over 100 South African and Indian business persons.

TAGS: South Africa | tax | India | Swaziland | law | tariffs | trade treaty | Lesotho | agreements | Botswana | Namibia | trade | Africa

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