Egypt and India have agreed on boosting their trade and cooperation in various fields as they celebrate this year the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
The remarks were made on Saturday at a press conference between Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is making his first visit to Egypt as foreign minister.
External Affairs Minister Jaishankar is visiting the country at the invitation of Shoukry. Jaishankar has met “eminent personalities in the field of foreign policy” here, as he began his two-day visit to Egypt to explore new initiatives in India’s partnership with the key African nation.
“A great start to my visit to Cairo. Met eminent personalities in the field of foreign policy. Thank them for their support for our relationship and insights into regional and global politics,” Jaishankar tweeted.
During the press conference, Shoukry hailed the leap in bilateral relations with India in line with the historic relations binding the two countries, saying that trade between the two countries saw 40 percent increase.
“There is a firm political will between the two sides on joint work to enhance the bilateral relations and coordinate on regional and international issues,” Shoukry said during the press conference.
For his part, Jaishankar affirmed that India had invited Egypt to attend the meetings of the Group of 20 (G20), which India is scheduled to preside over early in December.
Jaishankar affirmed that Egypt, the host of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November, would add to the G20 meetings. He stressed his country’s support to Egypt’s hosting of COP27 and its struggle to ensure climate action and finance for developing countries.
Jaishankar hailed the bilateral relations and political consultations between the two countries, affirming the importance of boosting bilateral trade. Investments of Indian companies operating in Egypt exceed $3 billion, Jaishankar said.
He also shed light on Egyptian-Indian cooperation in the fields of capacity building, expertise exchange as well as the sectors of vaccine production and pharmaceutical industry.
The Indian minister said he discussed with Shoukry the crisis in Ukraine and its impact on fertilizers, food, and securing energy.
Jaishankar added that he discussed with his Egyptian counterpart the possibility to create a more resilient global economy. They also discussed the Palestinian cause.
Shoukry, for his part, said he briefed the Indian minister on the developments of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue.
Shoukry referred to the significance of the multilateral frameworks, which deal with the rules governing the global economy including the G20, the G7, and the Non Aligned Movement, as well as their impact on handling of economic issues, in accordance with agreed upon rules that lead to achieving sustainable development.
He indicated Egypt has circles of interest, with regard to either its Arab, African, or Mediterranean nation, its membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation or the Non Aligned Movement, saying Cairo is working to preserve common international interests.
Jaishankar also highlighted the cooperation between Egypt and India in the security and defense fields and the joint drills that the forces of the two countries carry out.
In September, Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh made an official visit to Cairo during which he met with President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and affirmed India’s keenness to boost relations with Egypt.
India-Egypt trade touched a record high of $7.26 billion during FY2021-22, and Indian investments in Egypt exceed $3.15 billion. More than 50 Indian companies are present in Egypt in a range of sectors such as manufacturing, chemicals, energy, infrastructure and retail.
Jaishankar will also interact with the Indian community based in Egypt, including students, and address a gathering of the Egyptian and Indian business community.
Both countries are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year.