‘India-South Africa trade to cross $20 bn soon’

Kolkata, May 16 (IANS) Trade between India and South Africa is expected to rise to more than $20 billion in the next two to three years and value-added products would be thrust area of the South African exports in the coming days, two South African diplomats said Thursday.

Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $14.7 billion during 2012-13.

“We expect that in the in next two to three years the trade volume would cross the $20 billion mark,” Sarat Pradhan, senior economic advisor, High Commission of South Africa in India, said at an interactive meeting organised by Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI) here.

Bilateral trade between the two countries grew exponentially from $3 million in 1992-93 to $4 billion in 2005-06, while the figure was close to $7 billion by the end of 2011.

While raw materials, gold, inorganic chemicals, precious metals and oils have been the major export items to India, South Africa is now emphasising on several value-added products for export promotion.

“Value-added products such as capital equipment, electrotechnical equipment, safety equipment as well as mining and mineral products will be the thrust areas,” said Stefanus Botes, minister counsellor (Economic) at high commission.

Informing that currently Indian firms had a total investment of $7 billion in South Africa, Botes invited more companies to invest and form joint-ventures in different sectors in the country.

The officials said inland fishing was an important area where Indian companies could invest.

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