(From L-R) Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Egypt s electricity minister Mohamed Shaker during their meeting of the heads of top Indian companies and Indian businessmen in New Delhi on Wednesday 25 January, 2023. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidential spokesman Facebook page.
The president added that such cooperation aims to maximise mutual interests and optimise available opportunities.
El-Sisi's remarks came during his participation in an expanded meeting of the heads of top Indian companies and Indian businessmen in New Delhi, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said.
The meeting was attended by the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, electricity and renewable energy, planning and economic development, and communications and information technology.
The meeting also saw the participation of some senior Indian officials as well as representatives of India's government agencies concerned and major federations and chambers of commerce and industry.
According to the Presidency, El-Sisi, currently on a three-day visit to India, praised the positive developments in Egyptian-Indian economic and trade relations over the past period.
In this regard, the president pointed out various investment opportunities provided by the mega projects being implemented in Egypt, most importantly the Suez Canal Area Development Project.
The project provides promising opportunities for Indian companies wishing to benefit from Egypt’s strategic location as a hub for the production and re-export of products to different countries of the world, many of which have free trade agreements with Egypt, especially in the Arab and African regions, El-Sisi noted.
The president noted that the distinguished friendship between Egypt and India contributes to supporting efforts to develop joint cooperation in various economic fields, stressing Cairo's readiness to achieve industrial integration with Indian companies.
In a press conference following his meeting with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that both sides decided to increase bilateral trade to $12 billion in the next five years.
Earlier this week, India’s Ambassador to Cairo Ajit Gupte said bilateral trade has expanded rapidly by 75 per cent in 2021-22 to reach its highest-ever level of $7.26 billion, adding that trade between the two countries continues to grow in 2022-23.
Around 50 Indian companies operating in Egypt provide direct employment to approximately 38,000 Egyptians, investing over $3.2 billion across the chemical, energy, automobile, retail, apparel, and agriculture sectors, among others.
Many of these companies are planning to expand their investments by a cumulative $800 million, Gupte revealed.
Meanwhile, the Indian commerce minister and businessmen said the Egypt-India business roundtable constitutes a big opportunity to promote friendship between both countries.
They added that they are looking forward to maximising bilateral cooperation given the promising investment opportunities offered in Egypt, especially in the sectors of pharmaceutical industries, communications and information technology, defence industries, infrastructure, petroleum and natural gas, electricity, as well as new and renewable energy.
They also confirmed that they looked forward to enhancing trade exchange between both countries in the agricultural field.
The Indian figures lauded President Sisi’s periodic follow-up of the measures taken to facilitate procedures for the Indian companies working in Egypt, as well as the remarkable resilience shown by the Egyptian economy backed by the government’s efforts to speed the pace of the development process.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived on Tuesday in New Delhi at Modi's invitation to participate as chief guest in celebrations of India's Republic Day on Thursday. He received a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan – the official residence of the president of India at the western end of Rajpath in New Delhi – and was welcomed by President Droupadi Murmu and PM Modi.