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Egypt and India expand trade relations

India is the fourth largest trade partner of Egypt. Bilateral trade rose by 13.7% to $6 billion in 2022. India championed Egypt's BRICS inclusion.
© Anjan Rajani on Unsplash

India is the fourth largest trade partner of Egypt, after the US, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. India and Egypt have a long history of political understanding and cooperation in bilateral, regional, and global issues. The two countries have been working to strengthen their economic cooperation in recent years, with bilateral trade rising by 13.7% to $6 billion in 2022. While Egyptian exports to India decreased to $1.9 billion, imports grew to $4.1 billion. Both countries are aiming to increase bilateral trade to $12 billion by 2027.

Main exports include mineral fuels; top imports were meat and iron. The two countries have been exploring possibilities for cooperation in various sectors, including agriculture, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and information technology. In 2021, India and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in the field of textiles, including exchange of information and expertise, capacity building, and joint ventures. The two countries have also been collaborating in the field of renewable energy, with India offering to share its expertise and technology with Egypt. 

In 2022, India and Egypt signed an agreement to establish a joint business council to enhance economic cooperation and explore new opportunities for investment and trade. Indian companies have been investing in Egypt in various sectors, including oil, natural gas, and infrastructure.


Why Egypt is key to India’s plans for Middle East and Africa 
Egypt is central to India's expansion in the MENA region. India championed Egypt's BRICS inclusion and recognizes its role in the G20's global supply of essentials. Egypt's ambassador highlighted potential cooperation in IT, health, and more. Trade between the nations grew, with India exporting $3.74bn to Egypt in FY 2021/22. The current conflict affecting Egypt's food imports from Russia and Ukraine positions India as a viable supplier alternative.


Egypt considers using local currency in trade with India
Egypt's Minister of Supply, Ali Al-Moselhi, announced that the country is exploring the use of its local currency for trade with India, China, and Russia to ease the demand for the dollar. However, no decisive actions have been taken yet, as the decision lies with the central and commercial banks. 

India, Egypt discuss a wheat-for-fertilisers deal 
India and Egypt are deliberating a wheat-for-fertilisers deal after Egyptian President El-Sisi expressed grain needs to PM Modi, who highlighted India's fertiliser requirements. This trade aims to bolster food security for both nations. Previously, Egypt certified India for wheat supply in April 2022, ordering 63,500 tonnes before India's export ban in May 2022.
India is set to ink deals with Morocco and Egypt for a prolonged supply of rock phosphate, essential for DAP and NPK production. Indian firms are anticipated to establish DAP and NPK manufacturing plants in both countries, streamlining imports for India.

Textile company PDS to invest in Egypt 
Fashion supply chain company PDS Ltd, servicing clients like Tesco, Asos, Primark, Macy’s, and Calvin Klein, intends to invest 30 mio USD to expand its manufacturing facilities in India and Egypt. This strategy aims to enhance PDS's US business, which necessitates sourcing units in proximity to the West, and comes in response to global retailers' growing interest in diversifying sourcing bases due to pandemic disruptions. PDS collaborates with over 600 partner factories worldwide for garment supply.

Egyptian company to manufacture Indian mobile phones locally 
KMG EGYPT, led by Karim Ghoneim, will commence manufacturing smart watches and mobile phones in Sadat City, Menoufeya. Collaborations with two Indian firms will enable local production of smart accessories and both feature and smart mobiles. The factory spans 1,500 sqm and seeks to entice investments with new production lines. Other companies, including HMD (Nokia), OPPO, and Samsung, have also embarked on mobile production ventures in Egypt, signifying a surge in local mobile device manufacturing.
During the G20 Digital Economy Working Group meetings in Bengaluru, Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat, met with his Indian counterpart, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw. They discussed enhancing bilateral ties in communications and information technology, focusing on activating a MoU signed between both nations in January.

Egypt inks $4 bln deal with Ocior Energy for green hydrogen projects
Egypt's government has entered a preliminary deal with Indian firm Ocior Energy for a $4 billion investment in green hydrogen projects. With final contracts anticipated in the coming months, the initiative is slated for completion in six years. This aligns with Egypt's goal to lower carbon emissions and foster renewable energy, targeting a hydrogen infrastructure investment of $500 billion by 2030 as part of its 2050 Climate Strategy. Ocior Energy offers solutions for green hydrogen and ammonia, focusing on decarbonizing various industries.

Top Indian manufacturers express interest in investing in Egypt 
A SCZONE delegation, interacted with industry leaders like Sterlite Power Transmission, Jindal Steel, and Platinum Industries. Notably, Jindal aims to create an iron and steel complex in Sokhna, and Platinum Industries eyes a $10M project in the same zone, planning to export 70% of their production.

Indian auto, plastics firms meet with SCZone 
Indian automotive and adhesive firms are keen on investing in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) at East Port Said, following discussions with SCZone's Walid Gamal El Din in Mumbai. Bajaj Auto is considering building a factory in SCZone for better export reach across Africa and MENA. Ashok Leyland is exploring local EV production possibilities, potentially collaborating with state-owned EL Nasr Automotive. Meanwhile, TVS Motor has shown interest in eco-friendly vehicle manufacturing in the region.
Ashok Leyland to bring electric cars to Egypt 
Indian carmaker Ashok Leyland is venturing into the Egyptian electric vehicle market via a collaboration with El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing. Starting mid-2023, this partnership aims to revamp an El Nasr factory in Cairo for producing electric trucks, vans, pick-ups, and buses, fostering cleaner transportation in North Africa. Ashok Leyland, part of the Hinduja conglomerate, plans to promote its 2016 "circuit" electric buses in Africa, which, powered by AI, can cover 120 kilometers on a single charge. They're also cooperating with other international manufacturers like Stellantis in Egypt.

Indian packaging company lays cornerstone for PET factory 
Flex P Films Egypt, a subsidiary of UFLEX, is investing $110 million in a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) factory in Sokhna, Egypt. The 30,000 tonnes/month capacity plant will be built in two phases, with Phase 1 starting in 2024 and Phase 2 by mid-2025. The project will be spread over 250,000 square meters in SIDC Industrial Park, creating more than 700 jobs. The expansion is part of a broader initiative to attract Indian investments within the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE).

Egypt, India to establish international training centre 
Minister Rania Al-Mashat and Ambassador Ajit Gupta discussed enhancing Egypt-India relations, especially the establishment of an international training center in Egypt. This center aims to foster knowledge exchange between Egypt, India, and African nations. Egypt and India's 75-year relationship is seeing further growth with new cooperation memorandums. Al-Mashat spotlighted India's investments in Egyptian industries like pharmaceuticals and SMEs, and advocated for support in initiatives linking energy, food, and water projects.