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India committed to improving ties with Egypt: PM Modi

The PM said this during a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Mostafa Madbouly on Saturday, where they held a roundtable meeting in Cairo.

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New Delhi/Cairo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is committed to improving bilateral ties with Egypt, and added that 2023 has already been a remarkable year for the two countries.

The PM said this during a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Mostafa Madbouly on Saturday, where they held a roundtable meeting in Cairo.

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PM Modi said in statements following the meeting that he listened attentively to the positive opinions of his Egyptian counterpart on ways to enhance their bilateral relations and took detailed notes on the proposals, according to local reports.

“This is a remarkable year for our shared relations. At the beginning of this year, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi visited India as a chief guest in the Republic Day celebration, where we signed an agreement to elevate our bilateral relations to a strategic partnership,” PM Modi said.

He also said that he is honoured to invite President El-Sisi to India again to attend the G20 meetings, which are scheduled to take place in New Delhi in September.

PM Modi said that Egypt and India were swiftly moving towards achieving the $12 billion target in bilateral trade within the next five years. He added that in the past six months alone, Indian companies have invested around $170 million in Egypt.

This is PM Modi’s first-ever visit to Egypt, following an invitation from El-Sisi.

According to Indian Ambassador Ajit Gupte, this is the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Cairo since 1997. 

“Some of you have recently visited India, and here I would like to say that regular visits between the two sides will actively enhance bilateral relations” PM Modi told the attendees at the meeting.

PM Modi was meeting the ‘India Unit’ in the Egyptian Cabinet, which was set up earlier this year following the State Visit of President El-Sisi to India. The India Unit is headed by Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly, and comprises a number of Ministers and senior officials.

PM Modi added that the visit of the Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone to India last week was successful and will encourage other Indian companies to come to invest in Egypt.

He also emphasized that the increasing cooperation between the two sides in the field of renewable energy reflects a joint commitment to environmental protection.

He pointed out that many Indian companies are investing in green hydrogen and electric vehicles.

PM Modi said he would like to visit the New Administrative Capital on his next trip to Egypt.

From his side, Egyptian PM Madbouly affirmed the determination of both governments to strengthen strategic partnership between the two sides.

Madbouly said growing trade exchange between the two countries, which reached $7 billion in 2022, shows potential of going up to $12 billion in the next five years, as agreed upon during the Joint Trade Committee meeting held in July 2022.

He praised the current levels of Indian investments in Egypt, which stand at $3.5 billion, adding that the country is ready to receive more Indian capital.

Madbouly cited agreements signed between the two sides during the recent visit by officials from the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority to India last week as an example of promising growth for Indian investments in Egypt and the region, ahram online said.

He stressed Egypt’s keenness on developing a strategic relationship between the two countries in the field of strategic commodities, expressing interest that India would become a major supplier of wheat to Egypt.

Egypt also wants more cooperation with India in the fields of healthcare and pharmaceutical production, citing partnership between an Indian company and Egypt’s VACSERA to establish a vaccine production plant in the city as a model of such cooperation, added Madbouly.

Egypt welcomes more investments by Indian companies in the renewable energy sector in Egypt, particularly in the production of green hydrogen in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, stressed Madbouly.

The Egyptian government is keen on providing Indian companies with all the facilities needed to implement and expand their investments in the country, he said.

EgyptAir, the country’s national carrier, is set launch direct flights between Cairo and New Delhi, in addition to existing flights between Cairo and Mumbai, as a step to boost air travel between the two countries, he announced..

Egypt will work with the Indian presidency of the G20 to develop optimal approaches to deal with energy crises, climate change, food shortage and securing financing for developing countries, he said.

From the Egyptian side, the meeting was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat and Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir.

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