|Introduction: Contextual introduction.|
Body: Explain significance of India-Egypt relationship.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.
The history of contacts between India and Egypt, two of the world’s oldest civilisations, can be traced back to at least the time of Emperor Asoka. Recently, India and Egypt agreed to elevate their bilateral ties to a ‘strategic partnership’ that covers political, security, defence, energy and economic linkages.
Significance of India- Egypt relationship:
- Countering terrorism: India and Egypt are unanimous that terrorism is the “most serious security threat” to humanity. The two countries agreed that “concerted action is necessary to end cross-border terrorism.
- Investments in infrastructure: India has invested in Metro projects in Cairo and Alexandria, a Suez Canal economic zone, and a new administrative capital in a Cairo suburb. More than 50 Indian companies have invested more than $3.15 billion in Egypt.
- Crucial geo-strategic location: Egypt is the most populous country in West Asia. 12% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal. It is a major market for India and can act as a gateway to both Europe and Africa. It also has bilateral trade pacts with important West Asian and African nations.
- Defence: With defence manufacturing a new priority sector for India, and Egypt a big weapons consumer, the two sides discussed “co-manufacturing”. Egypt is interested in procuring defence equipment from India, which includes LCA Tejas, missiles like Akash, DRDO’s Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon, and radars.
- Education sector: Indian higher educational institutions can set up campuses in Egypt; a proposal for establishing an IIT in Egypt is in the works.
- In a region where China has been building up a presence with infrastructure and agriculture, India would also like to see trade with Egypt as an opening to the North African region.
- India is keen to further expand ties with Egypt, a key player in the politics of both the Arab world as well as Africa.
More than six decades ago, the two countries founded the NAM. They now have an opportunity to forge a new path ahead, not just for their strategic and economic interests, but as the voice of the Global South.