President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi headed on Tuesday to New Delhi, the capital of India, at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to participate as a guest of honour in India’s Republic Day celebration, which marks the day when the Constitution of India came into force in 1950.

Bassam Radi, the spokesperson of the presidency, said that the invitation of Al-Sisi as the main guest of honour for this event reflects the great rapprochement between the two countries, and the high appreciation that India has for Egypt’s leadership, government and people.

The visit reflects the deep interest of the Indian side in strengthening joint cooperation relations between the two friendly countries as one of the most important emerging countries and for their vital role in various issues on the regional and international arenas.

Radi explained that President Al-Sisi’s visit to India coincides with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and India, where President Al-Sisi is scheduled to meet with a number of officials in India, headed by Prime Minister Modi, President of the Republic Droupadi Murmu, as well as a number of other officials, to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations at all levels.

During the visit, President Al-Sisi will meet with the heads and representatives of a number of leading Indian companies in various fields to discuss mechanisms to strengthen economic relations between the two sides and review attractive investment opportunities in Egypt.

For his part, India’s ambassador to Cairo Ajit Gupte stressed that President Al-Sisi’s visit as the main guest of the Indian Republic Day celebrations is a very important occasion for both countries and will undoubtedly contribute to upgrading bilateral relations and pushing them to new horizons..

He pointed out that the continuous high-level contacts contributed to strengthening relations between Egypt and India, noting that President Al-Sisi’s visit to India in October 2015 and September 2016 gave further impetus to bilateral relations.

The Indian ambassador stressed the depth of cooperation between the two countries, which was reflected by the multiple high-level visits from India to Egypt over the past few months.

Ambassador Gupte highlighted the invitation extended by his country to Egypt to attend the meetings of the group of twenty as a guest country during India’s presidency of the group in 2022-2023.. The two countries are expected to cooperate intensively under this umbrella as well.

He praised the level of cooperation between the two countries at the economic and trade levels, pointing out that the volume of bilateral trade increased rapidly by 75% in 2021-2022 to reach its highest level ever, reaching $7.26bn and continuing to grow also in 2022-2023.

He added that about 50 Indian companies have huge investments in Egypt with a total value of more than $3.2bn in sectors such as chemicals, energy, automobiles, retail, clothing, agriculture and others, noting that these companies generally provide direct job opportunities for almost 38,000 Egyptians.

Ambassador Gupte revealed that there are many of these companies planning to expand their investments by injecting cumulative investments of up to $800m in Egypt, and many Indian companies have also expressed interest in developing green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in Egypt, He said that 3 leading Indian companies have signed memorandums of understanding with the Egyptian government worth $18bn.

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Sami Hegazi