Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA) - The South African government has thrown its weight behind the creation of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Indonesia and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

Deputy Director General of Asia and the Middle East of the South African Foreign Ministry Anil Sooklal voiced support during the bilateral consultation between Indonesia and South Africa held on the sidelines of the 12th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF) in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Friday.

Sooklal stated that relations between both nations, spanning over two decades, must be supported by more concrete cooperation in the economic field, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry noted in an official statement.

Established in 1910, SACU is a customs union among five countries of Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini, and South Africa.

Soocklal remarked that South Africa is open to explore the possibility of forming PTA with Indonesia if development of the Indonesia-SACU PTA encounters obstacles.

The bilateral consultation between Indonesia and South Africa was held as a follow up to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) of the joint commission for bilateral cooperation inked by both nations.

“A new momentum was provided in the bilateral relations between Indonesia and South Africa following the first bilateral consultations today,” Director General of Asia-Pacific and African regions of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry Desra Percaya stated.

At the meeting, both nations also agreed to step up trade and investment, especially in the fields of infrastructure, manufacture, and agriculture.

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Translator: Suwanti/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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