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‘India Can Become Major Economic Partner for MENA Region’

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India is positioning itself as an economic partner by investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said a senior official of Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim Bank).

In his address at the India-Morocco Business Forum, the bank’s Deputy Managing Director Harsha Bangari said that India’s trade with the MENA region has traditionally been governed by the fact that the region has been a critical source of energy.

“India is now increasingly positioning itself as an economic partner through increased investments in the region,” she said.

India Exim Bank on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Africa BMCE Group.

Senior representatives from the institutions were joined by Morocco’s Ambassador to India, Mohammed Maliki, and India’s Charge d’affaires in Morocco, G.K. Pant, at the Forum, which was organised on a virtual platform.

India’s bilateral trade with Morocco has increased from $1.2 billion in 2010 to $2.1 billion in 2019.

While India’s imports from Morocco are largely dominated by phosphate and potash, exports are more diversified covering textiles, chemical products, petroleum products, and pharmaceutical products.

According to Mohammed Agoumi, Delegate General Manager, Bank of Africa, the objective of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation in financing, guaranteeing and other financial mechanisms to support projects of interest of both the institutions.

The banks will also jointly explore funding support for Indian companies setting up operations in Morocco and Moroccan companies setting up operations in India as per their respective mandates.

Till date, India Exim Bank has supported 64 Indian companies for setting up ventures in the MENA region, with a sanctioned amount of Rs 6,684 crore, in various sectors such as textiles, automotive, chemicals and dyes, agro-processing, irrigation, renewable energy, construction, healthcare, EPC services, shipping and mining, among others, a statement from India Exim Bank said.

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