labels: trade
India, Greece to double bilateral trade to €1 billion by 2010news
27 April 2007

Mumbai: India and Greece have proposed to double their bilateral trade to over €1 billion by 2010 with New Delhi asking Athens to actively participate in its infrastructure projects to remove the trade imbalance between the two sides.

The proposal was made at a meeting between President A P J Abdul Kalam and his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias and the Greek prime minister Kostas Karamananlis in Athens.

The two countries have pledged to increase bilateral trade from the €540 million recorded last year to one billion euros by the turn of the decade, Kalam said.

Kalam also identified seven critical areas of joint scientific research - from nuclear power to stem cell research - that could enable India and Greece to enhance their strengths for development and marketing of their products in the world market.

Addressing Greece''s top scientists at the National Centre for Scientific Research, better known as Demokritos, Kalam said India is well on way to becoming a knowledge society, having undertaken cutting research in key areas like information and communication technology, bio-informatics, nano-technology and healthcare, including drug delivery systems.

The seven areas identified for joint research were energy, nuclear power, proteomics, vaccines against HIV/AIDS, stem cell research, earthquake forecasting and rainfall detection.

''The core competence of India and Greece can be identified by a joint task team which will enable establishment of collaborative ventures for synergising the strengths of two nations leading to the design, development, production and marketing of products and systems in the world market, the president said.

"Greece is indeed very good at infrastructure building, so Greece and India will be partners" in creating infrastructure, he noted, adding that the country could be a good partner for India''s infrastructure quest.

Greece has evinced keen interest in India''s shipping and tourism sectors and sought air connectivity between the two countries at the earliest, according to Nalin Surie, secretary (west) of the external affairs ministry.

"We hope this would be solved as and when the capacity and load factors are worked out," Surie added.

He said trade between the two countries is weighted heavily against Greece, adding that it has been brought to the notice of Greek authorities that India''s exports accounted for nearly 480 million euros of the total trade of 540 million euros last year.

Surie said while i-Flex, an Indian software company, has decided to start a venture in Greece, "we also sought the setting up of their companies in India."

He said Kalam''s meetings with Greek leaders would help strengthen bilateral ties.

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India, Greece to double bilateral trade to €1 billion by 2010