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South Africa expects more trade cooperation with India

(Xinhua)

15:31, March 20, 2012

JOHANNESBURG, March 19 (Xinhua) -- South Africa and India should seize opportunities presented by the global economy to promote their trade development, a South African official said on Monday.

The remarks were made by Elizabeth Thabethe, deputy minister of South African trade and industry, ahead of the 2012 BRICS summit to be held in India later this month. "The trade between South Africa and India has received a lot of attention in recent years. The rationale for this is rooted in the enhancement of South-South economic integration and cooperation.

"The broadening of economic space through larger consumer markets gives developing countries such as South Africa and India the opportunity to develop economies of scale, increase their competitiveness and become global competitors," Thabethe said.

She added the South African government is striving to enhance economic growth that will lead to an increase in the creation of decent, sustainable jobs, advance the fight against poverty and accelerate economic transformation. "South Africa and India have already agreed to increase their cooperation in energy, technology, trade and investment. This represents a significant step forward in strengthening our efforts to promote long term, sustainable economic growth," Thabethe said.

It also provides for diversification beyond our traditional strengths in commodities and non-tradable services, she said. "Our task as government is to ensure the necessary enabling environment is in place for business between our two countries to thrive. We are doing this through numerous programs, such as the investment and trade initiative which will lead to an enhancement of our close political and economic relationships," the minister said. According to South African government reports, bilateral trade between South Africa and India topped 11 billion U. S. dollars in 2011.

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