India’s Ambassador to Egypt, Shri Ajit Gupte, revealed that bilateral trade relations between Egypt and India were robust even in a year of reduced global economic activity and restrictions on movement due to the pandemic.
According to a statement released by the Indian Embassy, India’s Ambassador said, “Bilateral trade for April-October 2021-22 stood at USD 3.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 80% with Egypt’s exports to India increasing by 63% during the same period and India becoming the largest export destination for Egyptian exports.
Despite many challenges and difficulties brought forward by the pandemic and an uncertain global environment, India-Egypt bilateral relations were highly successful and productive in 2021”..”
The two countries took major steps ahead to further strengthen and deepen their evolving relationship based on mutual trust and confidence.
The Foreign Ministers of the two countries met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2021 in New York.
Reflecting on the longstanding friendship they agreed to take forward the bilateral cooperation at all levels and exchanged views on pressing global issues from GERD to Afghanistan.
During this year, eight high-ranking trade delegations from India visited Egypt. Moreover, several Indian companies enthusiastically participated in various exhibitions held in Egypt including on paper, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and food processing.
Leveraging technology, throughout the year numerous Buyers Sellers Meet (BSMs) were held through digital platforms when they could not be held physically.
The bilateral cooperation in the defense sector receives impetus with the visit of India’s Air Chief MarshalV R Chaudhary to Egypt and his subsequent meeting with Commander in Chief of Egyptian Air Force, Air Marshal Mohamed Abbas Helmy.
The Indian and Egyptian Air Force undertook the first-ever joint Air Exercise between India and Egypt named Ex Desert Warrior which also involved air to air refueling operations.
India’s stealth frigate INS TABAR visited the naval port of Alexandria in September 2021 and undertook joint exercises and operations with the Egyptian navy.
In November 2021, over 10 Indian companies participated in the Egypt Defense Expo(EDEX) 2021 and showcased their state-of-the-art defense systems. The growing cooperation between India and Egypt in the defense sector is a testament to the growing level of trust and mutual understanding between the two countries.
The year witnessed vibrant cultural exchanges also from both sides- a continuity of the centuries-old tradition of cultural contacts and exchanges between India and Egypt.
A symposium on ‘Egypt-India Cultural relations’ was organized by the Supreme Council of Culture in Egypt to discuss and reflect on the dynamic and crucial role of culture in bringing the two countries together.
International Day of Yoga was celebrated on 21st June with eminent personalities from Egypt doing Yoga on the banks of the Nile, a gesture that resonates with the two great civilizations embracing each other’s culture. As the year came to a close in December 2021, Cairo Film Festival was graced by the presence of renowned Indian music singer and composer A.R Rahman often credited as the pioneer of Sufi music in mainstream Cinema.
On December 6th, against the backdrop of Baron Palace, the Embassy also celebrated India-Bangladesh Friendship Day with invitees from across the political and cultural spectrum of Egypt as well as the diplomatic community.
India takes cognizance of the many challenges facing the global order from climate change, terrorism, inequality, and increased polarization to more regional issues of poverty, hunger, civil wars, and conflict. India firmly believes in the peaceful resolution of disputes through talks and negotiations, respecting every country’s sovereignty and independence.
“Our common challenges must be faced collectively as a common threat to humanity and not as an ‘us versus them’ issue”.
The Indian Prime Minister himself has actively engaged with G-20 and CoP 26, putting forth the idea of an International Solar Grid, Global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
At a time when the pandemic has created a global climate of fear and apprehensions and many states have started to look inwards and prioritize their own needs, India continues to see the needs of others as its own. With this in mind, India has proactively pursued the ‘Vaccine Maitri’(Vaccine Friendship) program under which it has already supplied over 110 million vaccines to 97 countries across the globe. Humanitarian assistance to our neighbors and beyond is given the highest priority by the Government of India.
India’s Foreign Policy and its relations with other states continue to be guided by its firm belief in the philosophy of ‘Vasudev Kutumbhkam’(One Global Family). India has and always will work towards the establishment of international peace and security for all to be achieved through a Rules-based International Order.