India, Mercosur, SACU agreement to enhance trade

Economic Times, India

India, Mercosur, SACU agreement to enhance trade

PTI

4 June 2007

NEW DELHI: Government today said a trilateral agreement with trade bloc Mercosur and South Africa Customs Union (SACU) is under consideration to widen the scope of South-South Cooperation.

"A trilateral arrangement between India, Mercosur and SACU (South Africa Customs Union) is on the way to widen scope of South-South Cooperation," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said.

Following the conclusion of a Preferential Trade Agreement in 2005, India and Mercosur agreed to give tariff concessions, ranging from 10 per cent to 100 per cent on 450 and 452 tariff lines respectively. The PTA would come into force once it is ratified by Brazil and Argentina.

Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela are full members of the grouping, while Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are associate members.

"The process of expansion of PTA coverage has also been initiated in persuasion of the IBSA Declaration made by the Heads of India, Brazil and South Africa in 2006," Nath said in a statement.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is currently on a visit to India with a business delegation and today held meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nath. The two countries have decided to step up trade from the present 2.4 billion dollars to 10 billion dollars by 2010. Brazil has emerged as India’s largest trading partner in Latin America.

"Indian investments in Brazil have also increased in recent years, particularly in the field of information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals," Nath said

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