Indo-Egyptian relations have existed since ancient times. Ashoka's edicts deal with his relations with Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy II.
In modern times, Mahatma Gandhi and Saad Zaghloul shared a common goal of achieving independence for their countries, a relationship that would blossom into an unusually close friendship between Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru, culminating in the signing of a Friendship Treaty in 1955.
This relationship inevitably resulted in the Non-Aligned Movement's formation.
India's Prime Ministers; Shri Rajiv Gandhi (1985), Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao (1995), Shri I. K. Gujral (1997), and Dr Manmohan Singh have all visited Egypt since the 1980s (2000).
(NAM Summit, 2009). Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak visited India three times: in 1982, 1983 (NAM Summit), and 2008. (again). These High-level exchanges with Egypt continued after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, and then-President Mohamed Morsi paid a visit to India in March 2013.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister paid a visit to India in December 2013, and the External Affairs Minister (EAM) paid a visit to Cairo in March 2012.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met with President Sisi in September 2015 in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Prime Minister Modi and President Mukherjee met in New Delhi in October 2015 with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for the Third India-Africa Forum Summit.
From 2015 to 2017, a number of Ministerial-level visits from India to Egypt took place.
Trade And Investment
Egypt has historically been one of India's most important trading partners on the African continent.
The India-Egypt Bilateral Trade Agreement, based on the Most Favored Nation clause, has been in effect since March 1978, and bilateral trade has increased more than fivefold over the last decade.
Between 2005-06 and 2012-13, bilateral trade between the two countries increased year after year, increasing from US$ 1.2 billion to a peak of US$ 5.45 billion.
Most Importantly India is one of the largest trading partners of Egypt. India exported $2.39 billion to Egypt in the fiscal year 2017-18.
Meat, light vessels and floating cranes, cotton yarn, and automobiles were the top five Indian exports during this period, while the top five Indian imports were Petroleum Oil, petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons, natural calcium phosphates, raw cotton, and coke & semi-coke.
In Egypt, over 450 Indian companies operate, with about 50 of them engaged in manufacturing and construction and a total investment of more than US$ 3 billion.
The remaining companies operate through representative offices and complete projects for government organisations, while about half are joint ventures or wholly-owned Indian subsidiaries. TCI Sanmar, Alexandria Carbon Black, Kirloskar, Dabur India, EgyptIndia Polyester Company (EIPET), SCIB Paints, Godrej, Mahindra, and Monginis are among the major Indian investments in Egypt.
Indian companies also work on railway signalling, pollution control, water treatment, irrigation, and anti-collision devices.
'Sun Pharma' began operations after Hetero Drugs Ltd, a major Indian pharmaceutical company, formed a joint venture to develop a Hepatitis-C drug in May 2015. Apparel, agriculture, chemicals, energy, automobiles, and retail are just a few of the industries in which Indian companies operate.
In total, these businesses, directly and indirectly, employ approximately 35,000 Egyptians.
Our bilateral relationship has always placed a premium on technical assistance and cooperation. Since 2000, ITEC programmes have benefited over 800 Egyptian officials.
In 2015 and 2016, around 210 Egyptians participated in a variety of programmes, including ITEC, the India-Africa Forum Summit, and the CV Raman Fellowship. So far, sixteen Egyptian diplomats have attended the PCFD at FSI, and 46 Egyptian scholars and scientists have been awarded the CV Raman International Fellowship for African Researchers.
Egypt was awarded 110 ITEC slots by the MEA in 2015-16. Egypt was granted 200 slots in 2016-17 in response to a request for an increase, and the same number will be granted in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
ICAR and Egypt's Agricultural Research Center collaborate on agricultural research, and on 'Science and Technology' cooperation through biennial Executive Programs. These businesses employ approximately 35,000 Egyptians directly and indirectly.
Pan-Africa e-network Project
The Pan African Telemedicine and Tele-education project at Alexandria University, the solar electrification project in Agaween village, and the Vocational Training Centre for textile technology in Shoubra, Cairo, have all been completed.
The Al Azhar University Information Technology Center will open soon.
In 1992, the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) was established in Cairo with the goal of fostering cultural cooperation between the two countries through the Cultural Exchange Program (CEP).
In the year 2019, Egypt's annual Indian cultural festival, India by the Nile, was held in three Egyptian cities: Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said. The Festival is a joint effort of the public and private sectors.
India by the Nile 2019 tremendously pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday.
Egypt hosted the first India-Egypt Friendship Cup football match series for Under-16 teams in 2017 as part of the 'India at 70' celebrations.
In July 2016, the Indian Cultural Centre launched the MACIC Roundtable-Monthly Seminar series to engage youth, academia, culture enthusiasts, and civil society in stimulating discussions and experience sharing on mutually beneficial topics.
The MACIC Film Club hosts monthly screenings and panel discussions about Indian films, including Bollywood, and screens them at the Cairo Opera House's prestigious Hanager Cinema.
The 500th edition of 'Sawtul-Hind,' the Embassy's flagship Arabic magazine for the past six decades, was published in July 2017, demonstrating the two countries' strong bond and vibrant cultural exchanges.
The first edition of Sawtul-first Hind was published in 1952, and it continues to serve as a link between India and Egypt, as well as the wider Arab world.
The Indian Cultural Centre organises India Day(s) in Egyptian governorates and universities on a regular basis as part of its outreach activities.
For the past 22 years, MACIC has hosted the Glimpses of India painting competition for Egyptian children.
The painting competition received a record-breaking 14,000 entries from schoolchildren in 2017. For the first time, the competition was held in fifteen Egyptian governorates.
The Tagore Festival was held in Cairo and Alexandria for the third year in a row, commemorating Rabindranath Tagore's 156th birthday with a three-day celebration.
In October 2017, the Mission observed Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary in Cairo and Alexandria. The EAM and the Egyptian Embassy dedicated a portrait of Tagore to the House of Poetry in March 2012.
In Egypt, yoga has become increasingly popular, with over 50 schools and centres in Cairo and other cities. In Cairo, Ismailia, and Alexandria, the International Day of Yoga 2018 was celebrated with zeal. Traditional medicine is also becoming more popular.
The people's affection for India exemplifies the two countries' close ties. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, and Dr Zakir Hussein are three Indian leaders who have streets named after them in Cairo. Mahatma Gandhi has two busts, one at the Supreme Council of Culture in Cairo and the other at the Bibliotheca Alexandria in Alexandria.
Treaties And Agreements
Important Bilateral Treaties and Agreements include:
MoU on Renewable Energy Cooperation (2011)
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Environmental Protection (2012)
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Electoral Management and Administration (2012)
MoU on Cooperation in Information and Communication Technology (2013)
MoU on Cooperation in Cyber Security (2013)
MoU on the establishment of a Centre for Excellence in IT (2013)
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Micro and Small Enterprises (2013)
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Protection, Preservation and Management of Cultural Heritage (2013)
MoU on Up-gradation of a vocational Training Centre in Cairo(2013)
Letter of Intent (LoT) on cooperation in the field of solar energy (2013)
LoT concerning launch services for Egyptian Nano Satellite onboard Indian PSLV (2013)
MoU between the GOI & Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for Air Transport Arrangements (Aug 2014)
Executive Programme on S&T cooperation for the period of 2015-2018 (Dec 2014)
MoU on scientific cooperation between National Research Centre, Egypt (NRC) and Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) [August 2015]
MOU on Tourism cooperation (August 2015)
MOU on cooperation between Secretaries of National Security Councils of India and Egypt (December 2015)
MoU between Bureau of Indian Standard(BIS) and Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality(EOS) (January 2016)
Agreement on Maritime Transport (September 2016)
MoU between General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (Egypt) and Invest India (India) (March 2018)