Two-way trade between India and Syria is expected to reach USD 500 Million in next 3 Years, said FIEO president Ganesh Kumar Gupta recently. Leading the biggest delegation of Indian entrepreneurs to Syria, consisting of 84 members, Gupta recently said that the two countries should endeavour to take bilateral trade from USD 175 million in 2017 to USD 500 million in 2020. Indian exports should touch USD 350 million, while imports should increase to USD 150 million by 2020, he added. Gupta said that India should review its exports strategy depending on imports profile of Syria. Elaborating further, he said that the import of automobiles in Syria is about USD 293 million with India’s exports of less than USD 1 million. Similarly, in electrical machinery imports of USD 303 million, our exports are USD 4.18 million. In mechanical machinery and appliances, we contribute to USD 9 million out of total imports of USD 250 million. In plastics and articles category where the imports is to the tune of USD 268 million, Indian exports are USD 3.2 million. In iron & steel, we have less than 1% share out of an import size of USD 145 million, he pointed out. The delegation had detailed discussion on payment mechanism and banking arrangements, the two main stumbling block in trade and investment.
Trading in local currencies, offsetting of trade balance with investment were some of the options discussed with the Syrian authorities. The delegation met the Finance Minister, Economy & Foreign Trade Minister, Industry Minister, Transport Minister, Petroleum & Mineral Resources Minister, Minister of Agriculture, Public Work & Housing Minister, Minister of Electricity, Minister of Public Work and Housing besides Syrian Investment Authority for wide ranging discussion on potential areas of cooperation in various field. The delegation led by FIEO was supported by three other leading industry bodies including CII, FICCI and EEPC India.