India and Egypt on vowed to take their economic and trade ties to the next level. Both countries have set a bilateral trade target of $8 billion in the near future from the current $3 billion.
During a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is a three-day visit here both leaders noted the importance of trade expansion and diversification, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting.
“We recognised that strong trade and investment linkages are essential for economic prosperity of our societies. We, therefore, agreed that increased flow of goods, services, and capital between our two economies has to be among our key priorities … We are also aiming at expanding defence trade,” the Prime Minister said during a joint media briefing.
There are currently 52 Indian companies operating in Egypt of which 25 are joint ventures with a total investment of $3 billion across a wide range of sectors.
As a $286-billion economy with around 89 million consumers, which is the second largest in Africa, Egypt has tremendous potential as an economic partner, according to a note by FICCI.
The two leaders also agreed to collaborate in the field of information and communications technology, agriculture, biotechnology, renewable and non-conventional energy and skills development and urged the private sector to invest heavily in these sectors.
“To diversify the portfolio of economic engagement, we will also deepen our cooperation in agriculture, skill development, small and medium industry and health sectors,” Modi said.
Kerry meets al-Sisi
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who postponed his departure from India,met the Egyptian President here on Thursday night. Both sides discussed at length several bilateral and regional issues, including Syria, Libya, and Middle East peace.
“Secretary Kerry stressed that Egypt remains a strategic partner of the United States. On Libya, they discussed how the United States and Egypt can cooperate to support the Government of National Accord and counter violent extremism in the region.
“Secretary Kerry also welcomed the Egyptian government’s efforts to undertake critical economic reforms supported by the International Monetary Fund,” said Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson, US State Department.