India to Form Free Trade Block with Brazil, Africa

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Sept. 8 – India is close to forming a new trade triangle with Brazil and the South African Customs Union (SACU) to fully accelerate the South-South engagement reports The Hindu.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma told The Hindu: “We need investments to fuel our economic growth and generate resources. The resources are with the rich continents. There is also a huge potential for energy and minerals in these economies and India needs to integrate itself with them.

He said: “My recent visit to South Africa provided an opportunity to form a new trade and economic alliance. This would be in addition to the recently signed ASEAN-India pact that has opened to us a US$3 trillion economy.”

The SACU includes the African nations of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland with Angola and Namibia on track to be a member. All SACU members share the same custom tariff policy.

In November, India will meet with Brazil, and the SACU during the IBSA summit. India and SACU have already gone ahead to form a joint working group to look at a possible draft framework treaty for a Preferential Trade Agreement between India and SACU countries.

IBSA is a trilateral, developmental initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa to promote South-South cooperation and exchange.