India and Egypt exchanged Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the fields of cyber security, culture, information technology, cooperation on youth matters and broadcasting on Wednesday. Here's a look at the trade relations between the two countries.
India and Egypt have decided to take their bilateral trade to $ 12 billion in the next five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after holding delegation-level discussions with Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Wednesday. Sisi is on a visit to India from January 24 to 26 and is the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations on Thursday.
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"A historic visit marking the elevation of India-Egypt relations to a Strategic Partnership," the Ministry of External Affairs said. "We've decided that under India-Egypt Strategic Partnership we will develop a long-term framework for greater cooperation in the fields of politics, security, economics and science," PM Modi said during a joint press conference following the key meeting.
Besides bilateral trade, issues of counter-terrorism, political and cyberspace security, food security, economy, and green hydrogen and renewable energy sectors were also featured in the talk between the two leaders.
They also held discussions related to COP27, scientific collaboration, and cultural, regional and global developments. "The issue of connectivity was also discussed between the two countries in order to boost tourism," President el–Sisi said.
"India and Egypt are concerned about terrorism. Both countries agree that strong actions must be taken to control cross-border terrorism," PM Modi said while emphasising the "misuse of cyberspace" for "radicalisation" and extremism.
"There has been an increase in joint exercise training and capacity building between us...We also held discussions on food and pharma supply chain that was disrupted due to COVID and Ukraine crisis," he said.
Before PM Modi's address, both countries exchanged Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the fields of cyber security, culture, information technology, cooperation on youth matters and broadcasting.
PM Modi and el-Sisi also witnessed the exchange of postal stamps between the two countries commemorating 75 years of diplomatic relations.
India-Egypt relation | In detail
Egypt is among the most important trading partners of India in Africa. It is "the natural bridge that connects Asia with Africa". It is also a key player in the politics of both the Arab world, as well as Africa, and therefore, is seen as a major gateway to markets in Africa and Europe. Thus, India looks forward to expanding ties with Egypt as it sees many opportunities and cooperation lying there.
Here's a look at where India-Egypt relations stand right now:
As per an MEA statement, the bilateral trade between India and Egypt reached $7.26 billion in the financial year 2021-22, registering a 75 percent increase as compared to the last Financial Year.
Petroleum, fertilizers, inorganic chemicals and cotton are among the main items being imported by India from Egypt. Meanwhile, items exported to Egypt include iron, steel, engineering products, light vehicles and cotton yam.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry had said in April last year that India is aiming to export 3 million tonnes of wheat to Egypt in 2022-23. "India has set a target of 10 million tonnes of wheat exports in 2022-23," it said.
Investment portfolio between India and Egypt
Egypt is one of the largest investment destinations for India as Indian companies continue to execute several projects in the country.
According to the MEA, over 50 Indian companies have invested in Egypt across sectors like chemicals, energy, textile, retail, agri-business and Information Technology (IT). This has led to $3.15 billion combined investment and offered approximately 35,000 jobs to Egyptians.
The defence cooperation between India and Egypt revolves around Joint Exercises, defence training, port calls, and participation in exhibitions; among others.
On January 14 this year, special forces of the Indian Army and the Egyptian Army carried out the first-ever joint exercise named “Exercise Cyclone-I” in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.
In September last year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called on Sisi in Cairo and both leaders agreed to further develop military cooperation and focus on joint training, defence coproduction and maintenance of equipment.
Among the MoUs exchanged by India and Egypt on Wednesday, one pertains to cooperation on broadcasting. As per the deal, India and Egypt will now facilitate content exchange, capacity building, and Co-Productions between Prasar Bharati and the National Media Authority of Egypt.
"The MOU is part of the efforts by Prasar Bharati to expand the reach of DD India Channel to showcase the country’s progress through programs focussed on economy, technology, social development and also the rich cultural heritage," the government said in a press release.
It added: "Under the ambit of this MoU, both the broadcasters will exchange their programs of different genres like Sports, News, Culture, Entertainment and many more areas on a bilateral basis and these programs will be telecast on their Radio and Television platforms. The MOU which will be valid for three years will also facilitate co-productions and training of the officials of both the broadcasters in the latest technologies."
First Published: Jan 25, 2023 3:55 PM IST