Proposed India-SACU preferantial trade to increase trade flow

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New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The finalisation of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) between India and the five-nation Southern African Customs Union (SACU) will create opportunities for increased bilateral trade flow, the government said on Wednesday.

An India-Namibia Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting here “noted that five rounds of India-Southern Africa Customs Union PTA negotiations have been held so far. Conclusion of the PTA will create opportunities for increased trade flow,” a Commerce Ministry release said here.

SACU comprises southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

At the bilateral level, the third session of the India-Namibia JTC was held here on Tuesday, where Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman led the Indian side. The Namibian delegation was led by its Deputy Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Piet Van der Walt.

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India conveyed to Namibia that leather, gems and jewellery, processed foods and engineering goods like electrical and mechanical appliances are sectors that India can cooperate with Namibia to meet their requirements, the statement said.

Metals and minerals from Namibia were sought for India, it added.

The Namibian side encouraged joint ventures in mining and mineral exploration with Epangelo Mining and Exploration company. Trade in precious and semi-precious gems and stones were also discussed.

Namibia expressed interest in skills development in the gems and jewellery sector to encourage local value addition and employment opportunity in the African nation.

In this connection, Namibia expressed willingness to utilise a $100 million line of credit extended by India.

According to the statement, cooperation between both the countries in hydroelectric projects and solar projects and water resource management were also discussed.

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The Indian side also communicated the willingness of the National Industries Corporation Ltd. to set up one vocational training centre-cum-incubation centre in Namibia on mutually agreed terms and conditions.

Namibia also expressed the need for handholding and technology transfer for fertiliser manufacturing and vaccine production in that country, the statement said.



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