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India, Greece keen to enhance trade and economic ties

Feb '07
India and Greece are keen to enhance the levels of bilateral trade, which stood at around US $ 620 million in 2005-06. A meeting held here between Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, and the visiting Greek Minister of Finance and Economy, Mr. George Alogoskoufi noted that India's trade with Greece increased by an impressive 84% to reach US $ 620.46 million in 2005-06 (i.e., comprising US $ 564.09 million worth of exports from India to Greece and US $ 56.37 worth of imports from Greece to India).

However, this was way below the potential, both the Ministers said, while underlining the desire to develop bilateral trade and economic ties especially in view of close and friendly relations between the two countries as ancient civilizations and modern democracies.

Referring to the proposed Agreement on Trade and Investment between India and the European Union (EU), which could open vast opportunities for business on both sides, including Greece, Shri Kamal Nath said that India would like to see early commencement of negotiations for this Agreement and sought Greece's support in the Council of the European Commission for ensuring an early mandate for the negotiations focussed on trade and investment.

While noting that Indian exports to Greece had diversified beyond traditional commodity items to include machinery, automobiles and engineering goods, Shri Kamal Nath said that auto components, pharmaceuticals, health sector including medical tourism, agriculture (especially olive oil) and food processing were the other potential areas of growth.

He invited Greek companies to participate to India's infrastructure programme while conveying that Indian companies could also participate in the infrastructure sector in Greece. The need for easier visa procedures for Indian businessmen and professionals in Greece was also flagged.

Press Information Bureau, India

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