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Egypt keen on routing Indian investment via Suez Canal Economic Zone

The Suez Canal Economic Zone aims to be one of the main logistics hubs in the region (Image courtesy: SC Zone)

Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has pitched the development axis of the Suez Canal region, which includes a number of industrial and logistical zones, as a major investment opportunity for Indian companies.

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), Sisi told a gathering of leading Indian businessmen during his visit to New Delhi, provides promising opportunities for companies wishing to benefit from Egypt’s strategic location as a centre for production and re-export of products to various countries of the world, especially in the Arab and African regions.

Located around the main international maritime route of the Suez Canal passageway, which connects Europe, East and North Africa via the Suez Canal with Asia passing through the Persian Gulf serving the majority of global trade, SCZONE aims to be one of the main logistics hubs in the region.

Suez Canal

Besides the heads of major Indian companies and senior representatives of various federations and chambers of commerce and industry, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also attended the India-Egypt Business Roundtable which discussed ways to further intensify the bilateral trade which stood at a record high of USD 7.26 billion in Financial Year 2021-22.

Spotlighting the march of economic development in Egypt, Sisi is keen on increasing Indian investments within the framework of joint action to maximize mutual interests and make the best use of available opportunities.

“Our visions agreed to maximize the existing cooperation in various fields and move towards partnerships in new fields, including cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy and the production of green hydrogen,” the Egyptian President said in his speech after the bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com, the Sisi government is quite gung-ho to open Indian investments in green hydrogen in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) in Ain Sokhna located in the Gulf of Suez, north-west of the Red Sea.

sokhna port
Sokhna Port (Image courtesy: SCZ)

Last year, it announced the signing of seven new MoUs with international companies, including India energy group ACME, to set up green hydrogen and ammonia production facilities in Sokhna.

While there has been no government-to-government agreement or MOU on green hydrogen so far, Indian private companies have entered into major projects in Egypt.

Overall, more than 50 Indian companies have invested around USD 3.15 billion in diverse sectors of the Egyptian economy, including chemicals, energy, textile, garment, agri-business, retail, etc.

New Delhi too believes that as the bilateral ties continue to grow strongly in the areas of defence, trade and investments, cooperation in new initiatives like green hydrogen and ammonia will further bolster them.

PM Modi Egypt
PM Narendra Modi with the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at Kartavya Path on the occasion of 74th Republic Day, in New Delhi on Thursday (Image courtesy: PIB)

“Today, we have held extensive discussions on strengthening the food and pharma supply chains affected by the Covid and the Ukraine conflict. We also agreed on the need to increase mutual investment and trade in these areas. Together we have decided that in the next five years we will take our bilateral trade to 12 billion dollars,” PM Modi said on Wednesday.

As the India-Egypt relationship was elevated to Strategic Partnership covering political, security, defence, energy and economic areas, as many as five MoUs were signed during Sisi’s visit to India.

It included agreements between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and the Egyptian Computer Emergency Readiness Team in the area of Cyber Security; a Memorandum of Cooperation in the fields of Information Technology; MoU in the field of Culture; MoU on Cooperation in Youth Matters and on cooperation on broadcasting between Prasar Bharati, India and National Media Authority, Egypt.

Also Read: India and Egypt ink strategic partnership — defence, counter-terrorism key areas in focus