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Monday, 5 May 2014

India, South Africa trade up 31% at $7.6 b

Bilateral trade between India and South Africa grew 31 per cent to $7.6 billion in the just ended financial year (April-March 2013- 14), against $5.8 billion in the same period last fiscal.

Speaking to Business Line on the occasion of 20 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa, Pule I Malefane, Consul General, Republic of South Africa, said both the countries managed to improve trade relations despite the economic growth in South Africa slowing down to 2.5 per cent in the financial year ended March, 2014, against 3.8 per cent logged in the same period last fiscal.

“Many Indian companies have invested in South Africa last fiscal. Prominent among them are $15-billion investment by Apollo Tyres, and $8 billion by KLT Automotive and Tubular Products. Exim Bank has opened a branch in South Africa to promote bilateral trade,” he said.

The long standing democracy not only attracts foreign investment but also ensures that their interest is protected and any trade issues are settled amicably under the well-defined law of the land, said Malefane.

The next meeting of the international tripartite grouping between India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) is expected to be held in the later half of this year.

The three countries have formed the body to represents three important poles for galvanizing South- South cooperation and greater understanding and cooperation between three continents.

“The meeting was supposed to be held in the first half of 2014, but had to be postponed as all the three countries are going to polls this year. We will fix a data before end of this year,” he said.

The intra-IBSA traded recently touched $23 billion.

Malefane expects free trade agreement will also be discussed afresh by the new government which will take charge soon.

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