With the World Trade Organisation talks back on track, India is now pressing for a fast conclusion of a new barrier-free trade triangle consisting of India-Brazil and South African Customs Union (SACU), an issue that is likely to figure prominently during the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) summit in Brazil in November.

Seeking to fully accelerate South-South engagement, India is of the firm belief that this new trade triangle will open up a window of opportunities and give a major opening into the emerging African economies. The effort during the IBSA summit will be to focus all the energies to make this new ‘trade triangle’ a realty and cash in on the tremendous goodwill and respect that India commands in the African world, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said here.

“We need to focus on Africa, particularly South Africa, which has a huge potential for energy and minerals in these economies and India needs to integrate itself with them. My recent visit to South Africa provided an opportunity to form this new trade alliance. This would be in addition to the recently signed ASEAN-India pact that has opened to us a $3 trillion economy,” Mr. Sharma said.

Mr. Sharma said it had been decided to put SACU on fast track. Angola has agreed to be part of SACU and Namibia almost a certainty. “We are hopeful that after the IBSA summit in November, where SACU will figure prominently, we will be able to give a final shape to this new trade triangle with important countries like Brazil and African nations,” he said. Members of SACU include Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland. SACU nations have a common custom tariff policy.

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