Cairo [Egypt], June 23 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to Egypt Ajit Gupte on Friday said that for the first time, a round table meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Egyptian Prime Minister will happen as Prime Minister Modi will begin his two-day visit to Egypt on Saturday.
“Prime Minister Modi arrives tomorrow. He’s here till the 25th. We are having for the first time, a roundtable between Prime Minister Modi and the Egyptian Prime Minister,” Indian Ambassador to Egypt Ajit Gupte told ANI.
“India and Egypt are two of the greatest ancient civilizations in the world and our ties go back more than 4000 years. “We’ve had maritime contacts over the centuries and in recent years, the relationship has gone from strength to strength. Particularly, after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Prime Minister Modi both came to power in 2014,” the Indian Ambassador to Egypt added.
Prime Minister will spend nearly half an hour at the Al-Hakim Mosque– a historic and prominent mosque in Cairo named after Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (985-1021), the 16th Fatimid caliph.
The mosque of al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah is an important cultural site for the Dawoodi Bohra community in Cairo.
PM Modi’s visit will be significant in terms of extending his long-standing warm relationship with the Dawoodi Bohra community in India and elsewhere.
PM Modi during his first Egypt tour will also visit Heliopolis War Grave cemetery to pay tribute to the Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice fighting for Egypt during the First World War.
PM Modi is visiting Egypt at the invitation of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which he extended in January 2023 when he graced India’s Republic Day celebrations as the ‘Chief Guest.
The visit is of significance as Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners in the African continent. India-Egypt Bilateral Trade Agreement has been in operation since March 1978 and is based on the Most Favored Nation clause. According to the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
India was Egypt’s fifth largest trading partner in the period April 2022-Dec 2022. It was the 11th-largest importer of Egyptian goods and the 5th-largest exporter to Egypt during the same time.
The latest bilateral trade between both countries reached US$ 5.175 Billion on (April 22-Jan 23) with US$ 3.473 Billion in Indian Exports and US$ 1.702 Billion in Indian Imports.
Over 450 Indian companies are registered in Egypt, of which around 50 are active in various sectors with a combined investment exceeding US$ 3.15 billion. Approximately half of them, are joint ventures or wholly owned Indian subsidiaries while the rest operate through their representative offices.
The investments by Egyptian companies in India are about US$ 37 million.
India Business Forum (IBF) in Egypt was launched in 2012 by the Embassy of India, Cairo with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The CII IBF is a platform for Indian companies in Egypt to share information and raise issues of concern to authorities in Egypt and India. IBF also aims to promote and support the activities of its members in Egypt and play a catalyst role in enhancing trade and investment between the two countries. The Ambassador of India to Egypt is the Patron of the IBF.
India and Egypt share close political understanding based on a long history of contact and cooperation in bilateral, regional and global issues. The joint announcement of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the Ambassadorial level was made on August 18 1947.
Since the 1980s, there have been four Prime Ministerial visits from India to Egypt.
Rajiv Gandhi visited the country in 1985, PV Narasimha Rao in 1995, IK Gujral in 1997, and Manmohan Singh in 2009.
From the Egyptian side, President Hosni Mubarak visited India in 1982, in 1983 (NAM Summit), and again in 2008.
High-level exchanges with Egypt continued after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and then President Mohamed Morsi visited India in March 2013. External Affairs Minister (EAM) visited Cairo in March 2012 and the Egyptian Foreign Minister visited India in December 2013.
Even during the Russia-Ukraine conflict which had threatened Egypt with a shortage of wheat, 80 percent of which is imported from Russia and Ukraine.
On April 14, 2022, Egyptian Cabinet announced the inclusion of India in the list of accredited countries which can supply wheat to Egypt, thus ending a long pending Non-Tariff Barrier.
India cleared shipment of 61,500 metric tons of wheat to Egypt on May 17, 2022. (ANI)
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