India, South Africa must increase trade: High commissioner

Posted By: IANS
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New Delhi, Sept 5: India and South Africa must focus on increasing bilateral trade as India is losing its business space with the African country to China, South African High Commissioner to India FK Morule said Friday.

The high commissioner, while talking to journalists at the Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC), also called for a transformation in the world governing bodies such as the United Nations for more representation from the developing world.

"China has taken a lead over India in trade with South Africa. The two countries, with conscious efforts can change the situation," he said Friday.

According to him, trade between the two countries was worth $15.7 billion in 2012. It came down to $13.99 billion in 2013, and further tumbled to $12.1 billion in March 2014.

Morule said he will soon be meeting India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing hope of improving trade between the two countries.

"I will soon be meeting the prime minister (Narendra Modi). I had met him when he was the Gujarat chief minister, and we had an understanding that we have to take the trade between India and South Africa to a very high level," he said.

He added the India-Africa summit scheduled to be held later this year will provide a platform for it.

The high commissioner said BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) are raising the developing world's voice at the international fora.

"The IBSA has been very vocal on the transformation of the world governing bodies... These bodies should reflect the demography of the world. Most population lives in the developing world, so the developing world should have higher representation," he said.

The South African envoy also said the New Development Bank started by the BRICS is a major step in this direction. He, however, added it did not aim to replace the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank.

"The voice of the developing world must be heard," he said.

Morule said: "We must put more emphasis on trading among the developing countries. All of us have fought against colonialism. The struggle was not just for a flag, economic freedom is also needed. We must...empower our people."


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