NEW DELHI (TIP): Bilateral trade between India and Egypt may double to $10 billion in the next few years, said Egypt president Mohammed Morsi. President Morsi who is heading a high-level delegation of ministers and business leaders, is on a four-day visit to India which started on March 18. “Currently, the bilateral trade between both countries is around $5 billion. We are looking to double this exchange trade volume in the next few years. The trade surge between India and Egypt pushes us to set up more ambitious goal of doubling this volume within the coming few years,” president Morsi said at an interaction jointly organized by industry chambers. “One of our main focus is on attracting foreign direct investment.
Both countries can co-operate in areas like trade, energy, technology and space science. I would like to invite Indian companies, businessmen and investors to take advantage of the promising opportunities Egypt offers and to assure that we will provide all required facilities and create the most inducting atmosphere for investment and business practices,” he added.
Prior to visiting India, Morsi also visited Pakistan. “Egypt needs more grains, which could be exported by India,” he said. Anand Sharma, commerce and industry minister said, “I will urge Indian companies to look at Egypt more seriously and invest in various sectors. Indian companies can also partner with Egyptian firms in sectors like infrastructure, biotechnology, energy and pharmaceuticals.” Morsi said that due to Egypt’s location, it could act as bridge between Asia and Africa, and as a major global trade route, makes it an attractive business destination for India. He added that Egypt would ensure that there wouldn’t be any obstacles for investors while setting up businesses there. Egypt is also looking into setting up free economic zones by Indian companies to trade with third countries.
Morsi also said that Brics nations like Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa have a major role to play in the development of the country in a democratic set up. He indicated that Egypt is looking forward to a time when it also becomes part of Brics, forming E-Brics. Meanwhile, Egypt, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and World Bank also signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) wherein, SIDBI would help in income generation and employment creation in Egypt and provide boost to strengthen the ties between India and Egypt.