Egypt offers to set up free economic zone for Indian firms

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Egypt Wednesday invited Indian investments in the country, and said it also proposes to establish a free economic zone for Indian companies.

“There is also a proposal to establish a free economic zone for the Indian side and to invite the Indian companies to set up their industrial bases in Egypt, promote their products whether in the Egyptian domestic market or the neighboring markets and to take advantage of the commercial arrangements and frames Egypt has with those large markets,” Egypt President Mohamed Morsi said at a business meet organised by industry bodies FICCI, CII and Assocham here.
“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,” he added.
Morsi is heading a high-level delegation of ministers and business leaders on a four-day visit to India which began March 18.
Morsi said Egypt’s location as a bridge between Asia and Africa together with its skilled human resources makes it an attractive business destination for India.
Morsi also told the India-Egypt Economic Forum that Egypt aims to double its trade with India in the next few years.
“The trade surge between India and Egypt pushes us to set up more ambitious goal of doubling this volume within the coming few years,” Morsi said.
The bilateral trade currently hovers around the $5 billion mark.
“I will urge Indian companies to look at Egypt more seriously and invest in various sectors. Indian companies can also partner with Egyptian firms in sectors like infrastructure, biotechnology, energy and pharmaceuticals,” said Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
India and Egypt Tuesday signed seven agreements, including one for cooperation in micro and small enterprises, to facilitate sharing of information, meetings between enterprises, technology transfers and to provide consultation services to enhance the abilities of business enterprises of both countries.
Around 50 Indian companies, including the Sanmar group, Dabur and Kirloskar, are operating in Egypt with a combined investment of roughly $2.5 billion.