Pact with Southern African Customs Union to take off even after 5 years

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on November 14, 2017 Published on March 19, 2012

South Africa_Elizabeth Thabethe

Negotiations between India and Southern African Customs Union to sign the Preferential Trade Agreement are still going on.

It's been more than five years since the negotiations started.

The union comprises South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. The signing of PTA will be followed by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement with South Africa, said Ms Seema Sardha, Consul: Economic, Consulate General of South Africa.


The PTA reduces tariff for certain products to countries signing the agreement deals with goods while the FTA is for both goods and services. A time frame has not been fixed for signing the PTA, she told newspersons.

According to Ms Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, South Africa, said signing of such agreements does not happen in a day or two.

It takes months, and some times even years. “Please wait. Such an agreement will help both our countries,” she said.

Bilateral trade

Leading a delegation of nearly 45 business people from South Africa, Ms Thabethe is in Chennai to kick start the third edition of her country's third annual investment and trade initiative.

The bilateral trade is likely to touch nearly $15 billion by 2015 from $11 billion last year.

The minister said that both the countries have agreed to increase the cooperation in energy, technology, trade and investment.

The delegation will leave for Bangalore, and then to Mumbai.

The members in the delegation represent sectors such as pharmaceuticals, information technology, energy, manufacturing and infrastructure, she said.

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Published on March 19, 2012
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