Egypt and India are currently in discussion for a free trade agreement between the two nations. India, seen globally as the technology hub, is hoping that an improved role in Egypt could lead to more access to Africa.
The announcement of the talks came on Tuesday from Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Rashid Mohamed Rashid, who said he was discussing the possibility with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath.
The two are expected to meet later this week to formalise some sort of trade agreement.
“An FTA (free trade agreement) could be the best move to boost trade and investment. This is what we will discuss with India,” Rashid said in India.
The two ministers plan to discuss the free trade agreement, but also have said that if one could not be reached at this time, they would look into other trade ideas in order to continue the push toward better financial relations.
Egypt and India have already agreed to remove visa restrictions for citizens traveling to each nation, with effect from this summer.
The agreement has been widely received and Rashid believes it will increase tourism and cooperation between the two countries.
Current bilateral trade between Egypt and India is approximately US$3 billion annually.
Both sides have also expressed a desire to see an improvement in their banking systems.
Rashid said he hoped an agreement could be reached that would allow banks in each nation to open branches in the other, thus relieving much of the stress for citizens traveling to and from each country. Panapress .