Egypt's president to visit India next week

Egypt's President Mohammad Mursi will arrive here on an official visit next week, seeking to deepen relations with India and to make it a partner in his country's development.

Mursi, who came to power after Egypt's first democratic elections last year, will arrive here on March 18.

Besides enhancement of trade, he also wants to learn from the pluralism model of India, official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Trade exchange between the two countries had reached USD 3.2 billion in the first nine months of 2012, according to informal figures.

There are 320 Indian companies operating in the Egyptian market with investments worth some USD 500 million.

Earlier this month, Egyptian Industry and External Trade Minister Hatem Saleh had met Indian Ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri and discussed sectors to be covered and arrangements for a planned visit by Mursi with a high-profile business delegation.

The meeting discussed as to how this visit would be offering a great opportunity for striking a partnership between the two countries' businessmen and attracting more investments from India to the Egyptian market, especially in the fields of chemical, auto industries, information and communication technology (ICT), engineering projects and the spinning and weaving sector.

The importance of reactivating the role of the joint business council especially after its reformation was also covered, Saleh had said.

Arrangements are being made for signing agreements with the Egyptian ICT, trade and external trade ministries on the transfer of know-how in the fields of IT and textile technology, the Indian Ambassador had said.

Mursi became President after the 30-year-old iron-clasp rule of former strongman Hosni Mubarak came to an end in February 2011 following a series of anti-regime protests, known as Arab Spring.

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