India and Egypt has agreed to explore possibilities of exchanging industrial know-how and formation of joint venture in the following industrial sector: textiles, iron & steel, cement, building materials, automotive and its components, chemicals, petrochemicals & fertilisers, drugs & vaccines, communication & IT, new & renewable energy and organic fuel for industrial use, infrastructure, housing and real estate development projects. This was discussed during a bilateral meeting between Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Mr. Rachid Mohammed Rachid, Trade Minister of Egypt, here today. The meeting was attended by Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary; Shri Ajay Shanker, Secretary (Industrial Policy & Promotion); senior officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and a large business delegation from both the countries.During the discussions, Shri Kamal Nath welcomed the Egyptian proposal for exploring the possibility of entering into a Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation which will provide opportunity to the two countries for greater interaction in the field of trade and investment. He said that both countries could benefit by cooperating in the field of pharmaceuticals and possibilities of setting up of joint ventures should be explored to exploit the markets in Middle East and Africa. Shri Kamal Nath also welcomed the Egyptian proposal for Indian Industrial Zone in Egypt exclusively for Indian companies to attract Indian investments targeting domestic market as well as nearby international markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Shri Kamal Nath informed the Egyptian Minister that India has allowed foreign equity participation up to 100%, through automatic route, in the textiles sector and suggested that Egyptian manufacturers / exporters of readymade garments could source their requirements of fabrics from India.
Speaking at the bilateral meeting, the Egyptian Minister stated that his aim of the visit was to boost bilateral trade and investment between Egypt and India, encourage opportunities between private sector on both sides, and strengthen a new platform for economic cooperation, including a proposed free trade agreement between the two countries.
Egypt is India’s largest trade partner in North Africa accounting for 40% of India’s trade in the region. In terms of value, India’s trade turnover with Egypt has grown nearly nine-fold in 2006-07 as compared to 2000-01. India imports a diversified product basket from Egypt comprising of oil, inorganic chemicals and fertilizers (crude).