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Monthly digest of official Indian statements on the Middle East g


a. Egypt

1. Visit of Indian Chemical Industry Delegation to Egypt, 9June 2010

A trade delegation consisting of twenty three members of Basic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Export Promotion Council, popularly known as “CHEMEXCIL” is visiting Cairo from 16th to 17th June 2010 to explore trade opportunities in chemical sector between India and Egypt. The delegation, which is led by Bhupendra Patel, Regional Chairman, CHEMEXIL, represents different companies in the sectors of chemicals (for textile, paper, ceramic, inks, agriculture, veterinary products, animal health products, detergents, aroma and medical uses), cosmetics and dyes (different uses).

CHEMEXCIL is set up by Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India, in 1963. CHEMEXCIL has membership strength of more than 4,000 companies spread all over India.   The Indian chemical industry has a total turnover of about US$ 40 billion and ranks 12th by volume in the world production of chemicals. India produces nearly 70,000 commercial products, ranging from Cosmetics and Toiletries, to plastics and pesticides. India is a major producer and exporter of basic chemicals, dyes, soaps and detergents, cosmetics and toiletries, and other products like incense sticks and castor oil.

Export of cosmetics, toiletries and essential oil to Egypt was US$ 20 million in 2008 out of Egypt’s imports of US $ 439 and was US$ 18 million in the year 2009 out of US $ 365 million.

Following the success of its previous visits during the last four years from 2006-2009, CHEMEXCIL is holding a Buyer-Seller Meet at Ramses Hilton Hotel, 1115 Cornich El Nile, Cairo at 6 P. M. on Thursday, 17th June 2010. The delegation will hold Business Interaction sessions and also plans to visit chemical and textile factories during their visit.

The visit of the CHEMEXCIL delegation is part of the efforts to expand commercial and economic relations between Egypt and India. The members of the delegation are looking forward to sharing their experience with their Egyptian counterparts. It is expected that Egyptian importers and users of chemicals, cosmetic and allied products will find it beneficial to interact with the visiting Indian delegation and gain fist-hand knowledge of the development of the chemicals and related industries in India in recent years.

Source: India Embassy, Cairo, Egypt

b. Iran

2. Visit of S M Krishna, Hon’ble External Affairs Minister of India for the 14th G-15 Summit in Tehran (15-18 May 2010), 19 June 2010

S M Krishna, Hon’ble External Affairs Minister of India, led a high-level delegation to Tehran from May 15-18, 2010 to attend the 14th G-15 Summit. In his address on May 17, the Hon’ble Minister said that the Summit provided an opportunity to review the progress of the G-15 since its inception two decades back. The G-15, he underlined, had made collective efforts to inject issues of interest to developing countries into the global agenda, and to seek outcomes that addressed its concerns. He suggested that the G-15 should be made an effective platform not only for South-South cooperation but also for policy articulation in the global discourse in the areas of trade, money and finance, equitable development, food and energy security, climate change, etc. The G-15 should also collectively look at ways and means to promote South-South cooperation. 

During his stay in Tehran, the Hon’ble Minister called on H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr. Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Majlis, and met H.E. Manouchehr Mottaki, Foreign Minister. During his interactions with the Iranian dignitaries, EAM exchanged views on issues pertaining to bilateral interest and regional and international developments.

Source: Indian Embassy, Tehran, Iran (Updated on 19 June 2010)

c. Syria

3. India-Syria Agree to Raise Bilateral Trade: Anand Sharma; Second Session of India-Syria JCM Held, 11 June 2010

Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Lamia Marai Aasi, Minister for Economy and Trade of the Syrian Arab Republic, co-chaired the Second Session of the India-Syria Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) in Damascus on 10 June 2010. During the session, Sharma announced that India and Syria have agreed to make concerted efforts to raise the bilateral trade to a level commensurate with the potential of the two countries. Anand Sharma was accompanied by a business delegation from Confederation of India Industry (CII) including captains of industry and major companies.

During the Joint Commission meeting, ‘Memorandum of Understandings on Trade Facilitation and Process Measures;’ Agreement on ‘Exemption of visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports;’ and an MOU between Federation of Syrian Chambers of Industry, HOMS, and Confederation of Indian Industry were signed. 

Both sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in various sectors like IT, oil and natural gas, phosphatic fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, processed food products, agricultural machinery, marine transport, and small and medium enterprises for mutual benefit. Leaders of both the delegations underscored the need for greater interaction between the business communities of the two countries and it was decided that both the countries would continue to encourage exchange of visits of delegations and participate in fairs, exhibitions and buyer-seller meets. Anand Sharma said that the two countries also shared common views on most of the multilateral issues. Both the sides also expressed their keenness to cooperate on all matters of mutual interest. 

Sharma also called on the Prime Minister of Syrian Arab Republic, H.E. Eng. Mohd. Naji Otri and the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Dardari. 

Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry Press Release, Press Information Bureau, New Delhi 

d. Turkey

4. Visit of CIM to Istanbul for CICA Summit, 6 June 2010

Commerce and Industries Minister (CIM) Hon’ble Anand Sharma would be attending the 3rd Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Istanbul on 8th June 2010.

CICA is a multi-national forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. The idea of convening CICA was first proposed by H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, on 5th October 1992, at the 47th Session of the UNGA. The Charter of CICA was adopted at the 1st Summit Meeting held in Almaty on 4 June 2002. 

Sixteen Asian states joined the CICA at the time of its inception. Presently CICA has twenty Member States. These are; Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. At the 3rd Summit in Istanbul, Vietnam and Iraq will join the CICA as members. 

Seven countries (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, Vietnam, Ukraine and USA) and three multi-national organizations, including United Nations, have observer status. The CICA Secretariat, the administrative body of the CICA is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 

A founding member, India has actively participated in the CICA process since its inception. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee attended the 1st Summit in June 2002. Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas represented Prime Minister at the 2nd Summit in June 2006. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry would be representing the Prime Minister at the 3rd Summit in Istanbul. He will be assisted by Latha Reddy, Secretary (East) and R. S. Jassal, India’s Ambassador to Turkey and other senior officials.

Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

5. Visit of CIM to Istanbul for 3rd CICA Summit, 8 June 2010

Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce and Industry, led the Indian delegation to the 3rd Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) at HOS/G level held today in Istanbul, Turkey. The Summit was attended by leaders from 20 existing Member countries of CICA. Vietnam and Iraq joined as new Members while Bangladesh became an Observer. Several other countries and international organizations also attended the Summit as Observers/Guests.

The Declaration adopted by the 3rd CICA Summit recognizes the important role being played by the CICA in meeting the challenges faced by the world community in general and Asia in particular. Member States reaffirmed their commitment to continue to develop CICA as a forum for dialogue and to enhance cooperation. Member States condemned terrorism and regarded it as the most serious threat to international peace and security. 

On the margins of the Summit, CIM Anand Sharma held discussions with President Abdullah Gul of Turkey and Prime Minister Putin of Russia, FM Dipu Moni of Bangladesh and FM Kasit Piromya of Thailand. These discussions afforded an opportunity to reiterate India’s commitment to furthering bilateral relations in the spirit of friendship and cooperation.

Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi


6. Appointment of Chief Executive Officer, Hajj Committee of India, Mumbai, 24 June 2010

Dr. Shaik Shakir Hussain, an officer of Indian Revenue Service, Additional Director of Income Tax, Hyderabad has been appointed as the next Chief Executive Officer, Haj Committee of India, Mumbai vice Mr. Mohd. Owais, for a period of three years w.e.f. 1st July 2010.

Source: Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

Mushtaq Hussain is a Doctoral candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. 


Editor, India Speaks:  P R Kumaraswamy