NEW DELHI: Egypt, often viewed India's gateway in North Africa, is now providing duty free access to European Union, North America, Arab and African markets for the Indian companies.
Addressing a business meet in Kolkata last month Egyptian Ambassador to India Hatem Tageldin said that 52 Indian companies are now working in Egypt with total investments of around $3 billion and the bilateral trade is about $5 billion annually.
Simultaneously Egyptian companies are now looking to invest more in India. Kapci Coatings, an Egyptian company making auto refinish products. It is planning to invest around $50 million in five factories across India, according to the Ambassador. Kapci India already had considerable market share and hence decided to expand its operations in the country. Kapci had already begun the construction of its first unit in Karnataka.
Another Egyptian factory has been set up in Noida El Sewedy and this specialises in electrometers.
Addressing the meet Tageldin called upon the Indian businesses to participate taking advantage of the current Egyptian investment opportunities. The investment climate in Egypt has witnessed major legislative and institutional reforms, with a tangible impact on both the level of domestic investments, as well as inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI).
The Egyptian Government has launched several mega projects that would create opportunities for investment in many production and services sectors including roads, railways, ports, water plants, solar energy, integrated development projects of Upper-Egypt, the Special economic zones in the Northern West Suez Gulf, developing technological industries, integrated civil and commercial centres throughout Egypt, in addition to Suez Canal Area Project and the New Egyptian Administrative Capital.
As many as 14 greenfield cement units in Egypt were now for grabs. "These licences would come with mining rights," the Ambassador informed.
Meanwhile as many as 25 Indian companies from different sectors are participating in Cairo International Fair "CIF" which is going to be held during the period from 16 to 25th March in Cairo. The Indian Trade Promotion Organisation pr ITPO in collaboration with the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry will have a pavilion of 600 square meters in the Fair. There will be B2B meetings between the Egyptian businessmen and their counterparts from India on the side line of that event.
The Indian Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises is also participating in Cairo International Fair, where both countries will discuss the opportunities of cooperation in the field of MSMEs and share the Indian experiences in this regard. A Memorandum of Understanding "MoU" between the Egyptian Expo and Convention Authority "EECA" and the Indian Trade Promotion Organization "ITPO" will be discussed during the Fair.
Several Indian companies participated in Africa 2016 Business and Investment Summit in Egypt on February 20.
Meanwhile Tageldin also met Mahesh Sharma, Tourism Minister with an eye to promote bilateral tourism. The number of Indian tourists to Egypt increased by 27% in 2015.
Source: This post was originally published in The Economic Times on March 5th, 2016, by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury