04 Mar 2006 - PTI
South African Custom Union planning for FTA with India
Mumbai, Mar 3: The South African Customs Union is in talks with the Indian government for signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to enhance the trade and business between both the countries.
"Southern African Customs Union is in talks with Indian government for an FTA. Hopefully this should be signed sooner than later," Minister in The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa E G Pahad told reporters here today on the sidelines of a seminar on ’Strengthening South-South Co-operation on IBSA’ (India, Brazil, South Africa).
Commenting on the potential of pharmaceutical sector in South Africa, Pahad said, "Currently the stringent registration laws were preventing Indian pharma companies from getting registered in South Africa. However, the South African authorities were working on streamlining and simplifying the rules." There was a huge investment potential between these three countries, which should be exploited and tapped by each other for mutual benefit and trade enhancement, Pahad added.
He also said the unity among these players was very important in the ongoing World Trade Organistion talks and should continue with our position taken in Hong Kong round of talks.
Tata Sons Director, Syamal Gupta said, "Tata group has a keen interest in the African market and would look at fresh investment in the field of power, automobile, and also the hospitality industry." There was also a huge potential market available in Brazil which is again an opportunity waiting to be tapped, he added.