(from L-R) Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential Palace in New Delhi on Wednesday 25 January, 2023. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidential Facebook page.
In her banquet Speech, President Murmu said that President El-Sisi's visit to India, which started on Tuesday, came at a very opportune moment as India and Egypt are celebrating 75 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations. She noted that Egypt had been one of the first countries which established full-fledged diplomatic relations with India just three days after India’s independence.
“Mahatma Gandhi and Saad Zaghloul Pasha shared common goals on the independence of their countries,” said the Indian President, adding that "after Independence , Indian and Egyptian leaders helped develop bonds of affection and admiration between the people of our two countries."
In her speech, Droupadi Murmu expressed her appreciation for Egypt’s leading role in promoting peace, prosperity and stability in the region.
The Indian President said that there was tremendous talent among Indian and Egyptian young people and enormous potential to bring about prosperity and development.
She expressed confidence that this visit would further deepen the engagement and cooperation between India and Egypt, inviting Egyptian industry to benefit from the Government of India’s flagship initiatives, such as Make in India, Digital India and Start-up India.
According to the Egyptian Presidency, President El-Sisi expressed appreciation for the warm Indian reception, praising the solid historical Egyptian Indian friendship. He also commended the progress that India has achieved on various levels in the recent period. El-Sisi expressed Egypt's aspiration to deepen and strengthen its ties with India, especially at the level of economy and trade, and to maximise the volume of Indian investments in Egypt.
El-Sisi also stressed that Indian investments currently have an excellent opportunity to be present in the Egyptian market to benefit from the modern infrastructure in Egypt and to access African markets, especially in light of the free trade agreements that bring Egypt together with various regional economic blocs.
Earlier this week, India’s Ambassador to Cairo, Ajit Gupte said that bilateral trade has expanded by 75 per cent in 2021-22 , reaching its highest-ever level of $7.26 billion. He was also quoted as saying 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.
According to the Egyptian Presidency, the talks between the two presidents addressed a number of regional and international issues of common interest.
The discussions reflected a mutual understanding between the two sides on ways to deal with all files, the Egyptian Presidency said, adding that President Murmu praised the pivotal role played by Egypt in consolidating stability in the Middle East and Africa, as well as supporting peaceful solutions to the crises in its regional environment.
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.
He also held a meeting with a group of Indian officials and businessmen to discuss the opportunities of investments in Egypt.