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India, South Africa set $15-bn bilateral trade target by 2014

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India and South Africa on Monday decided to increase two-way trade between both countries to $15 billion by 2014 from $10.64 billion while concluding the India-South Africa CEOs Forum.

This was the second meeting of the forum. The first one was held in Johannesburg last year, where five sector-specific working groups were created to ensure seamless trade and business transaction between both countries.

“Today we took up the recommendations of the five sectoral groups. All the core areas were touched upon. We are on course but together we will be exploring what further steps are required. We have already reached bilateral trade worth $10 billion in 2010, which was our target for 2012. This year we have already reached $7 billion, and so we have revised the target to $15 billion by 2014,” Minister of Commerce & Industry and Textiles told reporters after the meeting, here.

The forum is headed by from India and Patrice Motsepe from South Africa. The minister said both sides would also be holding bilateral meetings to have a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the South Africa Customs Union (SACU) comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland.

Under a PTA, both countries will reduce their tariffs on a particular number of products from the level they maintain with countries that are not members to the agreement. However, unlike (FTA), PTA does not slash or eliminate duties from a large number of tariff lines.

“Relationship with India had been growing enormously. Indian companies are among our largest investors in South Africa. South African companies are also finding a growing role in the Indian market,” said South African trade minister Rob Davies.

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