Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar will visit Egypt from October 15-16 to review bilateral relations with the country’s top leadership, and to promote trade and investments with one of India’s biggest trading partners in Africa.

This will be Jaishankar’s first bilateral engagement in Egypt, and he will be visiting at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Hassan Shoukry. The two ministers are expected to discuss a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, the external affairs ministry said on Thursday.

Egypt has been one of India’s largest trading partners in Africa and the promotion of bilateral trade, commerce and investments will be one of the focus areas during Jaishankar’s visit, the ministry said.

India-Egypt trade touched a record high of $7.26 billion during FY2021-22, and Indian investments in Egypt exceed $3.15 billion. More than 50 Indian companies are present in Egypt in a range of sectors such as manufacturing, chemicals, energy, infrastructure and retail.

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The visit will “provide an opportunity to review the entire gamut of our bilateral and multilateral relations and to exchange views with the Egyptian leadership covering whole range of issues of mutual interest”, the ministry said.

The visit also provides an opportunity to deepen cooperation and explore new initiatives in the bilateral partnership, it added.

Jaishankar will also interact with the Indian community in Egypt, including students, and address a gathering of the Egyptian and Indian business community.

India and Egypt traditionally “enjoy warm and friendly relations underpinned by historical and cultural linkages”, and both countries are celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations this year. Egypt has been invited as a “guest country” during India’s presidency of G-20 in 2023.

By Shadab

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