New Delhi: Egypt has said that it will explore the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India to boost trade and investment between the two countries.
“An FTA could be the best move to boost trade and investment. This is what we will discuss with India,” Egyptian minister of trade and industry, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, said at a CII meeting.
Rachid would be meeting Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday and discuss the possibilities of India-Egypt trade agreement with him.
He said if not an FTA, the two countries should have a framework agreement in trade and investment to cater to the need of both sides. Bilateral trade between India and Egypt currently stands at around $3 billion.
Rachid said the two countries need to enhance cooperation in areas of manufacturing goods, pharma, oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, auto, construction materials and textiles.
Inviting Indian companies to explore partnership in Egypt’s steel sector, Rachid stated that companies like Tata and Essar are have shown interest in the sector in the country.
“There were some auctions for licenses which they participated in. They did not win because ArcelorMittal had won the licenses. But there will be more to come,” Rachid said.
Besides improving connectivity between major cities of India and Egypt, Rachid said banks should also be allowed to set up branches in both the countries.