IAFS: Egyptian president to visit India on Wednesday

New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will visit India on Wednesday to attend the third India-Africa Forum Summit where he would also highlight his country’s keenness on boosting bilateral ties, a presidential spokesperson said on Sunday.

“Sisi appreciates the close historical bilateral relations between the two countries. Both countries are interested in developing the relations and build on it,” presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef said in a release.

“Egypt’s participation in the summit is to highlight its leading role in Africa and internationally. It also highlights Egypt’s keenness on boosting relations with Africa and India,” Youssef said, adding that the president will start his trip on Tuesday by visiting the UAE.

“The summit will discuss ways to develop the economic cooperation between India and Africa and enhancing the investments exchange as India became one of the best commercial partners to Africa,” he added.

Sisi will meet his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a number of officials and businessmen.

During the meetings, he will discuss boosting economic cooperation between the two countries and increasing investment in Egypt especially in the new Suez Canal project.

Sisi will also meet a number of African leaders on the sidelines of the summit to discuss security issues in the continent, Youssef said.

Trade between India and Egypt during the last financial year has been recorded at $4.76 billion. Most importantly, India is the sixth largest trading partner of Egypt – the second largest export destination.

India’s imports from Egypt were worth $1.74 billion during 2014-15 and the export basket of Egyptian products to India has seen divesification. Indian exports to Egypt during 2014-15 have been recorded at $3.02 billion.

Out of the 50 Indian companies operating in Egypt with a combined investment of almost $3 billion, approximately half are joint ventures and wholly owned Indian subsidiaries.

After Sisi’s visit to India, he will visit Bahrain to meet King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa to discuss strong relations.

The India-Africa Forum Summit, the biggest diplomatic event to be hosted by India in the last three decades, will begin on Monday and the four-day event will see participation by all 54 African nations. The forum is seen as India’s effort to consolidate the historical ties with African continent, endowed with large reservoirs of minerals and hydrocarbons.

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