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Union Minister addresses Business Session with Egypt President
18
Nov '08
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has stated that there is enormous potential for expanding the bilateral trade between India and Egypt and a need to further diversify the trade basket to tap this enormous potential.

While addressing at the Business Session with Egypt President Mr. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, here today, Shri Kamal Nath stressed that the possible area of cooperation / growth are: Steel, Construction, Tractors & agricultural equipment, pumps & diesel engines, pharmaceuticals, tourism, auto components, information technology, fertilisers, phosphates & urea, hotel management, textiles, biotechnology and use of natural gas in cars..

He further added that Egypt has traditionally been one of India's most important trading partners in the African continent and Egypt alone accounts for almost 40% of India's trade with Northern Africa.

Speaking at the Business Session, the Minister welcomed the Egyptian proposal of establishing an Indian Industrial Zone in Egypt exclusively for Indian companies. He further added that Egypt's strategic location makes it a gateway to the 20-country Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the 27-nation European Union and the Arab Free Trade Area.

He highlighted that both the countries are already benefiting from a bilateral investment protection pact, which has been in force since 2000. “Companies like Ranbaxy, Kiroloskar, Dabur, Ashok Leyland, and Essel already have an investment presence in Egypt. I am sure that with these investments, India could well emerge among the top ten foreign investors in Egypt”, he said.

During 2007-08, India's exports to Egypt have been to the tune of US $ 1396.23 million as compared to US$ 760.41 million during the year 2006-07. Imports (including oil imports) during the same period were US$ 1982.77 million as compared to US$ 1741.65 million during the year 2006-07.

The top Indian export items include frozen meat, cotton yarn and synthetic yarn, rice, diesel, tobacco, electrical machinery, soybean, chemicals, automobiles and components, sugar, pharmaceuticals and tea. Nearly 95% of Egypt's exports to India comprise oil and gas. Coking coal, raw cotton, rock phosphate, and marble make up the balance 5%.

Press Information Bureau

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