Agro exports, line of credit to strengthen India-Egypt economic ties: Envoy

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Kolkata, May 21 (IANS) Pointing out that trade exchanges between India and Egypt have picked up pace in the last one year, outgoing Indian Ambassador to the Arab nation Sanjay Bhattacharya on Monday said the growth in agro-exports from India to Egypt and its acceptance of India’s line of credit facility can further boost bilateral economic ties.

“The trade exchanges between India and Egypt have a scope of improvement. It reached around $5.5 billion in 2012 but has been on the decline since the Egyptian revolution. However, last year there was 15 percent increase in the trade between the two countries,” said Bhattacharya, who would shortly be moving to Turkey as Ambassador.

“There has also been a growth of agro-exports. Egypt relies entirely on irrigation for its cultivation. There are some issues about the Nile water resources. India can emerge as a long time reliable agricultural supplier,” he noted.

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The envoy said India’s line of credit of $10 billion to the African countries have also been accepted by the Egyptian government which would lead to much closer collaboration in the economic field.

“Economic pillar is one of the strongest fundaments of the Indo-Egyptian relationship right now. There are about 450 Indian companies registered in Egypt, among which there are 50 large companies that has combined investment of nearly $3 billion,” he said.

About the prospects of Indian investors in Africa and in the Middle East, Bhattachaya said the businessmen should cash in on these countries’ common appreciation of India as a growing economy.

“It is important to note that across the Middle East there is an appreciation of India in maintaining a pluralistic society. It is highly impressed by India’s efforts to create a democratic niche along with massive economic development. The Arab world is also interested about the SNPs, specially in IT space, health and education.

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“There are more opportunities for the Indian investors in Middle East and for that matter in Africa as the countries have an India preference. The Middle East has four major power houses at present – Saudi-Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Turkey – and the good thing is India has very good relationship with all four countries. The opportunity to do business or work out a good economic relationship is equally good in all these places,” he added.

–IANS

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