Cairo, March 12 (IANS) Even as preparations are on for the visit of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy to New Delhi, the two countries explored their future economic potential during a trade committee meeting where India hoped it would emerge as preferred source of high quality and competitively-priced products in different areas, from pharmaceuticals and vaccines to information and communications technology.
The India-Egypt Joint Trade Committee held its first meeting in Cairo Sunday.
Coming on the eve of the visit this month of Morsy to India, the two sides reviewed the existing position with regard to bilateral trade, examine issues that need to be resolved and explore the future potential in new areas of cooperation, said a press release.
The Indian delegation was headed by D.S. Dhesi, additional secretary in India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, while Said Abd-Allah, first under secretary in the Ministry of Industry & Foreign Trade headed the discussions from the Egyptian side.
Both sides expressed satisfaction that bilateral trade between India and Egypt has shown impressive growth despite the ongoing global economic slowdown.
They noted that trade has grown from $2.5 billion in 2006-07 to $4.3 billion in 2011-12.
The trade balance currently lies in Egypt's favour with its exports to India touching $2.3 billion as against imports of a little under $2 billion.
Both countries welcomed the significant increase in Indian investments in Egypt and agreed to work towards early resolution of some of the issues being faced by major Indian companies that are operating projects in different parts of Egypt.
Dhesi said: "The convening of the first ever meeting of the Joint Trade Committee marks an important step in our efforts to ensure that our trade and investment relations achieve their full potential."
"...I had extremely meaningful and productive discussions with our friends in Egypt and we hope that in the coming years, these will pave the way for the emergence of India as the preferred source of high quality and competitively priced products in vital sectors such as pharmaceuticals and vaccines, agricultural commodities like wheat for which India now has a substantial surplus and state-of-the-art products and services in information and communications technology sector."