Greeks eye Indian shipping industry

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) Greeks are now eyeing the Indian shipping industry for its expertise and believe that ''substantial prospects are available'' in the field.

''We are looking at sectors like shipbuilding and shipping as we feel there are substantial prospects available,'' said Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Petros Doukas, who is part of 80-member business delegation visiting the country.

''We are looking at cooperation in segments of tourism, energy, shipping, hospitality, agriculture, distribution channels etc,'' he added.

The Minister will meet Trade and Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and the Deputy Energy Minister, but no agreements are expected to be signed.

''Our Prime Minister will be here on a state visit in January next year and we expect some agreements to be signed by then. They will be in areas of maritime and double taxation and the terms are under consideration,'' Mr Doukas revealed.

Greece's exports to India currently touch 50 million euros, while the imports stood at 500 million euros. ''There is a huge deficit which needs to be balanced,'' Mr Doukas said.

The Greek government is also offering tax benefits for Indian investors. ''A corporate tax of 25 per cent is levied on five per cent of the revenues earned in the country,'' he added.

Indo-Greek bilateral trade is expected to touch one billion euros by 2010. With trade growing at 84 per cent in 2005-06 at 423 million euros, the volume stood at 601 million euros in 2006-07.

The Minister has also called for a direct airlink to the country.

''With a direct flight available, we expect the trade to further increase, giving an impetus to the trade and cultural relations as well,'' he said.


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