Egypt Minister welcomes FTA between India, Egypt

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Mumbai, Apr 16 (UNI) Egypt Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid has welcomed the pending free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Egypt for a framework agreement on economic cooperation to boost trade and investment.

Talking to UNI on the sidelines of interaction with the Egyptian Business Delegation, one-on-one business meetings organised by CII western region here today, Mr Rachid said ''There is possibility of an FTA, India and Egypt should have a framework agreement in trade and investment to cater to the needs of both sides. The FTA could be the best thing to happen between the two countries and will be discussed with Indian officials.'' He suggested a beginning could be made with the framework agreement, and added that banks should also be allowed to set up branches in both the countries to boost trade and investment.

Bilateral trade between India and Egypt currently stands at about three billion dollars.

During the bilateral meeting, the two countries agreed to explore possibilities of exchanging industrial know-how and formation of joint ventures in multiple sectors. Textiles, iron and steel, cement, building materials, auto and components, chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilisers, drugs and vaccines, communication and IT, new and renewable energy and organic fuel for industrial use, infrastructure, housing and real estate were identified for the purpose.

The Egyptian Minister also proposed enhanced cooperation in areas of manufacturing goods, pharma, oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, auto, construction materials and textiles. He also invited Indian companies to explore partnership in Egypt's steel sector.

The meeting was attended by a high-level business delegation comprising mostly CEOs or CMDs of Egyptian companies and Indian corporate leaders.

UNI AR NM SKB1603

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