Seeks Indian investments in energy, biotechnology and nanotechnology

Seeking Indian investments in energy, biotechnology and nanotechnology and cooperation in agriculture and space, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, on Wednesday, pushed for an ambitious goal of doubling trade with India in the next few years from the current level of $5.4 billion.

“The trade surge between India and Egypt pushes us to set up more ambitious goal of doubling this volume within the coming few years. Egypt needs more grains and these could be exported by India,” Mr. Morsy said at a function organised jointly by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) here. The Egyptian President is on a four-day visit to India.

“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 practice. One of our main focus areas is on attracting foreign direct investment. Both countries can co-operate in areas such as ICT, space science, energy, agriculture and nanotechnology,’’ he said.

He said Egypt was an attractive destination for India as it could act as a bridge between Asia and Africa. Till now, about 50 Indian companies, including Aditya Birla, Dabur and Kirloskar, had invested about $2.5 billion in Egypt.

Free economic zones

“Egypt is looking into setting up of free economic zones by Indian companies to trade and promote its projects in the country and neighbouring ones,” he said.

Commerce and Industry MinisterAnand Sharma said he would urge Indian companies to look at Egypt more seriously and invest in various sectors. “Indian companies can also partner Egyptian firms in sectors such as infrastructure, biotechnology, energy and pharmaceuticals,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, six memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed between Indian and Egyptian companies for exploring ways to promote ties to the level of strategic partnership. The six agreements signed included MoUs in the field of plastics, for setting up of a Plastic Park at Port in Egypt, co-operation in the field of engineering and vocational training and partnering for enhancement of financial and non-financial service for MSMEs (micro small and medium enterprises) in Egypt.

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