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India,Cyprus ink MoU on solar energy

After three days of pomp and pageantry in the UK,President Pratibha Patil commenced her two-day business visit to the island country of Cyprus...

Written by Ritu Sarin | Nicosia (cyprus) |
October 31, 2009 1:02:22 am

After three days of pomp and pageantry in the UK,President Pratibha Patil commenced her two-day business visit to the island country of Cyprus,which she described as the “South Eastern outpost” of the European Union. President Patil’s visit — the first by a head of state in 21 years — comes at a time when domestically,the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriots are engaged in their 41 st round of talks while India has expressed solidarity of the “democratic choice” made by the Greek Cypriots based on the Kofi Annan formula in 2004.

But more than domestic politics,the focus of the visit was clearly intended to give a fillip to bilateral trade which currently stands at $68 million. The potential acceleration of future trade is obvious from the fact there has been a 77 per cent jump in exports from Cyprus to India in 2008.

Thus,the first official engagement of the President in Nicosia was her presence at an event organised by the Cyprus-India Business Association,where a 22-member Indian business delegation was present. At the event,President Patil frankly described the current trade figures as “very low considering that both countries have impressive global merchandise trade turnovers”. She also urged Cypriot companies to participate in bids for infrastructure projects in India and informed delegates that the country was making an investment of over $500 billion in the sector over the next five years.

The most substantive part of the business visit was the signing of a MoU between two Cyrus-based companies and Indian entity,CASE Engineering,on solar energy cooperation which is expected to see a investment in India of 50 million Euros. Cyprus is recognised as a leader in the field of research and technology in the solar energy sector and as Roger Kumar,the MD of CASE said in Nicosia,the agreement inked by President Patil today firmed cemented the 25-years old ties his company had with Norasco and DALCO,the MoU partners. He said,“There is a growing recognition in India that we have to move away from polluting fossil fuels and the technology,resources from our consortium will help thousands of Indian companies do just that.’’

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