CAIRO: The Embassy of India in Cairo held a press conference yesterday celebrating the 59th anniversary of India’s independence. A. Gopinathan, Indain ambassador to Egypt discussed India’s position on the region’s strained political affairs along with Indian-Egyptian economic relations.
Gopinathen emphasized his deep worry regarding the rising tension between Israel and Lebanon reiterating earlier statements that India condemns the excessive and disproportionate military retaliation by Israel which has targeted civilian infrastructure . [and] which resulted in the killing and suffering of innocent civilians, including women and children that is likely to exacerbate an already tense situation.
On the other hand, Gopinathen praised Indian-Egyptian bilateral trade, saying that according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), in fiscal year 2005-06 the total exports from India to Egypt reached $371.38 million (LE2.1 billion), while the total exports from Egypt to India reached $693.74 million (LE 3.98 billion)
“In a very short span, from three to four years, India’s investment will increase three times to reach $1.2 billion (LE 6.9 billion), states Gopinathen.
Regarding the local Indo-Egyptian joint ventures, Gopinathen said that India is the 12th largest foreign investor in Egypt. Gopinathen referred to a phosphoric acid plant as the largest Indian investment so far. The plant that was established last year in Upper Egypt is a joint venture between Indian Cooperative Farmers IFFCO and Al Nasr Mining Company of Egypt.
Gopinathen refuted criticism directed at the phosphoric acid plant for being environmentally hazardous. “Indian farmers would not pollute any country whether it is India or Egypt, says Gopinathen, “they obtained the approval of the Egyptian ministries of health and agriculture and so far there are no documents that speak of such environmental pollution.
Gopinathen took this opportunity to express his deep contentment at celebrating 59 years of India’s independence. “In 1947, many international scholars thought that India’s diversity in language, religion, and race would not keep it united for a decade, said Gopinathen, “but we stayed together united for almost 60 years and developed.