India to begin free trade agreement talks with the African customs union

  • June 28, 2023
  • News

India and the five countries of the South Africa Customs Union (SACU) are exploring the opportunity of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the talks supposedly start between the two sides in the next 3-4 months. The five countries part of the SACU are South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

As per the reports, it is said that this trade agreement between India and SACU countries will help India find bigger markets for its goods which are highly in demand. The most wanted product on the list is the vehicles, followed by engineering goods and machinery.

Till now, the SACU countries account for about 2% of the total exports from India. In the financial year 2023, goods worth $8.91 billion were exported, however out of the total exports made to SACU countries, around 95% worth of goods went to South Africa as it is the major destination for vehicle exports from India.

India’s trade with SACU countries is also more or less balanced. In the financial year 2023, a total of $ 8.91 billion worth of goods were exported to these countries and the imports were $10.9 billion, leading to less trade deficit. Even in imports, 95 dependence is on South Africa only. Imported items include coal, iron-ore, non-industrial diamonds, etc.