Anand Sharma to push for trade treaty in S Africa

NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma will seek South Africa's support to expedite India's proposed preferential trade pact with nations in that region and press for market access for Indian mangoes, grapes and frozen boneless buffalo meat in a two-day visit starting Monday.

There to attend the second India-Africa Trade Ministers' meet at Johannesburg, Sharma will also push for greater partnership between India and Africa in sectors like pharmaceuticals, IT and energy, a commerce department official said.

 In his meeting with his South African counterpart Rob Davies, Sharma is expected to press for the India-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) preferential trade agreement for which the negotiations started back in 2007.

India has proposed average margin of preference of about 70%, which means imports from SACU nations will be subjected to a tariff 70% lower than the most favoured nation rate.

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Five rounds of talks have taken place so far.

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