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Egyptian president visits India to boost cultural, trade and tourism ties

By Al Arabiya with Agencies | 19 Mar 2013

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi began his India visit with a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Mursi is leading a high-level delegation of business leaders and ministers, including the ministers of communications, information technology, trade, commerce and investment.

Bilateral trade between the countries has increased significantly in the recent years in spite of the political transition in Egypt and currently stands at USD 5.5 billion.

Mursi is due to hold bilateral discussions with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later in the day and the two sides are expected to sign deals to further deepen and diversify the growing bilateral trade and investment.

Mursi will also address a meeting of leading Indian businessmen to woo investments.
India is Egypt’s seventh largest trading partner and second largest source of its exports.

More than 50 Indian companies have presence in Egypt in various sectors and the cumulative Indian investments in Egypt are more than USD 2.5 billion.

Trade in Indian two-wheelers, petrochemicals, biotechnology, information technology, healthcare products and other goods will all be discussed, Indian officials said.

One key irritant in relations has been Egypt’s refusal to support India’s longstanding bid for a permanent seat on an expanded U.N. Security Council.

Mursi visited Pakistan on Monday and held talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and others.

Pakistani president urged his Egyptian counterpart Mursi to help efforts to end the “bloodshed” in Syria and find a solution to the crisis.

Zardari made the remarks during talks with Mursi who arrived in Pakistan as he works to promote trade and investment in Egypt’s troubled economy.