Modi honoured with Order of the Nile during Egypt visit
India is already Egypt’s seventh-largest trading partner, according to data from Cairo’s central bank, with trade reaching $7 billion (£5.49bn) last year
PARTNERSHIP: Narendra Modi
(left) with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at
the Ittihadiya presidential palace
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi met Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo last Sunday (25) on a rare visit during which both sides pledged to deepen their strategic ties.
They agreed to boost investment by India, the world’s most populous nation, in Egypt, which has the Arab world’s largest population of 105 million, but which is now in the grip of an economic downturn.
Modi, in power since 2014, was on his first visit to the north African country following a four-day trip to the United States.
The leaders “signed a joint declaration to elevate relations to a strategic partnership,” which they had first announced in January when Sisi visited New Delhi, a spokesman for the Egyptian leader said.
The two sides have pledged to boost bilateral trade by billions of dollars, while India is stepping up investment in Egypt, particularly in renewable energy.
Egypt has suffered a drawnout economic crisis in which the currency has lost half its value in a year. The government has, in recent months, moved to diversify foreign investors, which also include Gulf powers and China.
Sisi bestowed Cairo’s highest honour, the Order of the Nile, on Modi and the two leaders affirmed their “mutual commitment” to strengthen relations.
This would include “increasing high-level visits”, facilitating direct flights between the capitals, and “developing Indian investments in Egypt,” according to the presidency in Cairo.
India is already Egypt’s seventh-largest trading partner, according to data from Cairo’s central bank, with trade reaching $7 billion (£5.49bn) last year.
The two leaders agreed in January to increase Indian investments in Egypt, which currently stand at over $3.15bn (£2.47bn), including through a potential “dedicated land area for Indian industries in the Suez Canal Economic Zone”. Those projects include a $12bn (£9.41bn) green hydrogen plant to be built by Indian firm ACME.
In 2022, as Russia’s Ukraine invasion drove up global grain prices, India banned wheat exports to protect its reserves and rein in inflation, but granted an exception to Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat importer.
Modi invited Sisi to a G20 meet India is hosting in September.