New Delhi is well poised to extend a warm and gracious welcome to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, at the Republic Day celebrations, next week. Evidently, President El-Sisi would be the first chief guest from Egypt to be given red-carpet welcome at the Republic Day celebration. More significantly, the Egyptian President will only be the fifth leader from the West Asian and Arab world to be the chief guest at the distinguished Republic Day parade, since Independence.
Egypt is important for effective trade relations in Africa
The invitation to the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, to be a part of the Republic Day parade as the chief guest, has great significance to refurbish the bilateral ties between the two nations. Conversely, Egypt is important for effective trade relations in Africa because of its strategic location at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe.
It is a major transit point for trade between Africa and the rest of the world, and its ports and infrastructure are well-developed to handle large volumes of cargo. Additionally, Egypt has historically been a leader in the region. It has played an important role in regional organizations such as the African Union and the Arab League. This makes Egypt a key player in shaping trade policies and agreements in Africa.
Thus, the invitation to Egyptian President means that the Indian counterparts are all set to collaborate with Egypt, so as to capitalize on the vast opportunities that African nations offer. The bilateral ties with Egypt are also significant because China dominates the trade and geopolitics of Africa. With Egypt, India hopes to find a stable geopolitical ally at the crossroad of the three main continents.
Egypt is located at the north-eastern tip of the African continent that makes it a natural gateway for trade between Africa, Asia and Europe. The Suez Canal, one of the most important waterways in the world, connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas and allows for the passage of ships between the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans.
This allows for easy access to major shipping lanes and reduces transit times for trade between Africa and the rest of the world. Thus, India hopes to get the most out of the well-developed transportation infrastructure, including ports, airports and rail networks, so as to find an alternate partner at the heart of the global supply chain network.
The Modi led Indian government that has significantly increased the global impact of India owing to its great foreign policy. That is to say, with Egypt that has in the recent times played an active role in regional organizations such as the African Union, the Arab League and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), India is focusing to create a favourable environment for trade and investment in the region.
Moreover, the Indian administration that has devoted special significance to rejuvenating historical ties with strategic partners. Evidently, India and Egypt have a long history of bilateral relations, dating back to ancient times. The two countries have traditionally had a strong cultural, economic and political tie, which continues till the day. But it seems that the Modi government feels it’s the appropriate time for it to take the friendship with Egypt to another level.
India always had interests in North Africa, but at the same time, it had problems finding a stable ally. This is why India traditionally did not have much stake in the region. But it can be said that things are changing with the emergence of a disciplined Egypt under the present regime.
The Modi government is optimistic that it can have a stable geopolitically significant ally in the form of Egypt that can help India utilize its resources to open the floodgates of not only the ‘Tri-Continental Junction but also of African nations. This would help India have an alternative supply chain platform in addition to making in-roads to African nations.
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