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India's Economic Experience is Very Useful for Egypt: Trade Minister

© CLAIRE MORANDWheat crops are seen in a field in Wustrau-Altfriesack, Fehrbellin, eastern Germany, on July 18, 2022.
Wheat crops are seen in a field in Wustrau-Altfriesack, Fehrbellin, eastern Germany, on July 18, 2022.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.01.2023
Earlier this week, India and Egypt inked five Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) providing for cooperation in areas of culture, IT, cyber security, youth matters, and broadcasting.
Speaking with Sputnik, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir Saleh said President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's visit to India comes at a very difficult time, and that Cairo can learn a lot from Delhi when it comes to economy and trade.
"India's experience is very useful for Egypt, we can benefit from this experience from an economic point of view and increase trade exchange and exports of Egyptian goods to India. On the other hand, India can use Egyptian natural gas in the future, which will only strengthen the political and economic relations between the two countries," Saleh, who is also the chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee in the Egyptian House of Representatives, told Sputnik.

"The 'economic pluralism' in the world has become more attractive, especially in the context of the inflationary crisis raging in many countries. Egypt, for its part, seeks to balance its political and economic relations with other countries for the benefit of its citizens and the Egyptian people."

Ahmed Samir Saleh
Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry
Egyptian banking expert Hany Abu Al-Fattouh has welcomed El-Sisi's visit to India, stressing that the trip was "particularly important because India is a large country and has traditionally been considered an ally of ours, as economic relations between Cairo and New Delhi have been steadily strengthening since the 1960s until today."
Speaking with Sputnik, Al-Fattouh said Egypt was diversifying its sources of imports of key commodities, including wheat. The expert emphasized that economic issues were high on the agenda, because India "is an agrarian-industrial country, and Egypt seeks closer economic ties."
Al-Fattouh suggested that the two sides might discuss the use of the Egyptian pound to settle imports in the future.
An army zodiac secures the entrance of a new section of the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt, Aug. 6, 2015. - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.01.2023
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Egypt Considers Allocating Land to Indian Firms In Suez Canal Zone
The Egyptian pound has lost half its value since March 2022, as the Central Bank moved to a more flexible exchange rate under the terms of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial support package. Earlier this month, the country's national currency weakened by more than 13 percent to a new low of just under 32 to the US dollar.
The devaluation came as the price of imported food and other goods soared in the country. In December, inflation in Egypt reached 21.9 percent, while food prices jumped 37.9 percent year-on-year. The country also approached the IMF for the fourth time in six years for a bailout, with the fund approving a $3 billion loan program, conditioned on “a permanent shift to a flexible exchange rate regime” and a “monetary policy aimed at gradually reducing inflation” late last year.
The Egyptian president was in India on an official three-day visit from January 24 to 27, along with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Energy Minister Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, and other senior officials. Among other things, El-Sisi held a meeting with industry leaders in New Delhi and asked them to invest in Egypt. He also hinted that Egypt was considering designating a special area for Indian industries in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCEZ).