Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi arrives here Monday on a
three-day visit, after a short stopover in Islamabad, to boost
bilateral ties with India, especially in trade.
Morsi is arriving at the head of a high-level delegation of
ministers and business leaders. The ministers in the entourage
include the ministers of communications and Information
Technology, trade and commerce, and investment.
The visit comes at a time when trade between India and Egypt has
witnessed a record 30 percent jump.
Egypt has also requested India to set up a centre of excellence in
IT at the famed Al Azhar University in Cairo. It is also seeking
India's help in launching a nano satellite.
Economic engagement between the two sides has been growing despite
the political tumult in Egypt.
Bilateral trade has notched up a "record increase" of 30 percent
to $4.5 billion from $3.2 billion earlier. Calculated in the
Indian fiscal year terms, it works out to $5.2 billion, said an
Around 50 Indian companies, including Aditya Birla, Kirloskar and
Dabur, have a presence in Egypt. Indian investment in Egypt is
$2.5 billion, and it is also the seventh largest trading partner
During the visit, the Egyptian business delegation will hold
meetings with India's three apex business bodies - FICCI, CII and
ASSOCHAM, with FICCI playing a lead role. Morsi is to address a
business event organised by the apex chambers of commerce of
Morsi is slated to hold delegation level talks with Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh on Tuesday. Vice President Hamid Ansari, External
Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and
Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj are to call on
Morsi. President Pranab Mukherjee will host a banquet in his
Both countries are keen to further deepen and diversify the
growing bilateral engagement during the president's visit.
During his short visit to Pakistan, Morsi is expected to hold
talks with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, Prime
Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, and other prominent politicians and
parties in Islamabad.
Morsi is likely to sign several agreements with Zardari during his
"President Morsi's decision to choose Pakistan as the first south
Asian country for a bilateral visit manifests Egypt's desire to
add a new chapter to its bilateral ties with Pakistan," Pakistani
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said on