CAIRO: Egypt is keen on boosting economic cooperation with India specially in developing small and medium enterprises, a senior minister said here today.
India is Egypt's 10th largest export destination and also the 10th largest import source.
Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said there are possibilities to enhance bilateral cooperation in key areas like automotive industry, textile and leather products.
His remarks came during a meeting with Tamil Nadu's Minister of Rural Industries P Benjamin who is here leading the Indian delegation participating in the MACTECH Fair in the Cairo International Convention Centre from November 16-19.
India's Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya said that both the sides discussed possibilities of technology and investment cooperation in textiles and leather sectors.
"India's participation with 50 companies at MACTECH Fair was with the objective of showcasing our strengths in engineering and capital goods. Our advantages lie in high quality, affordable prices and efficient utilisation of labour," Bhattacharyya told PTI.
"Among the largest suppliers of capital goods to Egypt, we wish to increase exports and also look for opportunities for joint ventures," the Indian envoy said.
The delegation from the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC India) comprises 50 leading Indian machine tools and technology firms.
The Indian Pavilion is organised by the EEPC, the premier trade and investment promotion group in engineering sector sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in association with the Embassy of India in Cairo.
The participating Indian companies represent various segments of engineering products including machine tools, industrial tools, heavy tools, machinery, generators and tube and wire machinery.
India stands 13th in production and 10th in the consumption of machine tools in the world with 0.9 per cent share in the total global production.
The market is expected to reach USD 3 billion by 2019-20, growing at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 14 per cent from 2013-14 to 2019-20.
India is set to become an important player in the global machine tools industry and is expected to see substantial increase in the manufacture of high-end products.
The automobile sector, a major user of machine tools, is set to grow 3.5 to 4 times from its current size of USD 74 billion to reach about USD 300 billion by 2026.
New emerging sectors such as defence and aerospace, consumer durables, green investment in auto sectors are likely to enhance demand for machine tools.
In Machine tools and Industrial tools sector, India is among the top five exporting countries to Egypt.
India exported USD 3.16 million of hand tools to Egypt in 2016 constituting six per cent of the total imports of Egypt for the product.
MACTECH is the picture-perfect event for metal forming, machine tools, industrial tools, welding and cutting equipment technology makers; providing widespread competition array, constant business opportunities, far-reaching media coverage and cross-industry technology transfer.
Egypt has traditionally been one of India's most important trading partners in the African continent.
During the year 2016-17, bilateral trade between India and Egypt was to the tune of USD 3.23 billion.