At present, trade between the two countries is very nominal as South Africa's trade with world is $75 to $80bn and its trade with Pakistan is less than one per cent of its total trade. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD, April 15: Pakistan and South Africa here on Monday set a moderate bilateral trade target of $1bn till 2015 that would be achieved by improving the trade mechanism between the two countries.

At present, trade between the two countries is very nominal as South Africa's trade with world is $75 to $80bn and its trade with Pakistan is less than one per cent of its total trade.

“We can even surplus the set trade target if trade mechanism is improved,” Deputy Director General Asia and Middle-East, Department of International Relations and Cooperation Anil Sookal said at the third session of Pakistan-South Africa Joint Commission meeting.The third session of Pakistan-South Africa Joint Commission meeting was held here on Monday during which progress on about eight MoUs was discussed.

In light of the understanding reached earlier at the second joint commission meeting, substantive deliberations took place in the meeting in a cordial and constructive manner on a number of relevant aspects relating to bilateral trade, enhanced economic cooperation and identifying areas of mutual cooperation.

Both the sides agreed for a close interaction between various ministries to deliberate in-depth on related aspects and propose concrete steps to move forward.

The Pakistan delegation that participated in the talks was led by Additional Foreign Secretary, Seema Naqvi while the South African delegation was headed by Anil Sookal.

Both the sides thoroughly discussed progress on various MoUs in various sectors of economy, including health, higher education, agriculture, mining, information technology, narcotics control and defence production.

The Joint Commission meeting stressed the need for trade promotion and enhancing market access in both the countries besides suggesting signing an MoU between trade promotion bodies of both the countries.—APP

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