Indian Ambassador to Egypt, Ajit Gupte, said in an interview with Daily News Egypt that the Egyptian Government has implemented several structural reforms to boost FDI and private investment, such as legislative changes to enhance the Ease of Doing Business.
He added that more than 450 Indian companies are registered in Egypt, with a total investment of over $3.40bn. Some of the major Indian investors in Egypt are TCI Sanmar, Alexandria Carbon Black, Kirloskar, Dabur India, Flex P Films, SCIB Paints, Godrej, Mahindra, and Monginis. They operate in various sectors such as apparel, agriculture, chemicals, energy, automobiles, retail, and others. These companies employ around 38,000 Egyptians and export more than $1bn worth of goods.
He noted that the investment climate of any country depends on factors like geographical location, FTAs, and business-friendly environment. Egypt’s strategic location makes it a favoured destination for investment. Moreover, Egypt has signed FTAs with the EU, North America, Africa, and the Gulf, which offer opportunities to explore the markets of its FTA partners. In 2023, five Indian companies invested in Egypt in sectors like PET resin manufacturing, FMCG goods, cylinder manufacturing, medical equipment, and chemical stabilizers. Their combined investment was around $170m.
He further said that several Indian companies and delegations from Chambers of Commerce and Export Promotion Councils visited Egypt in 2022 and 2023. They had initial discussions with Investment Promotion Agencies in Egypt. The Indian companies expressed interest in sectors like medical devices, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, e-vehicles, consultancy and IT services. Indian companies also participated in various trade fairs in Egypt under the auspices of Export Promotion Councils. About 116 Indian companies took part in 9 trade fairs in different sectors in Egypt from April to December 2023.
“Egypt ranks 114th in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index 2023. However, political stability, access to markets through FTA partners, excellent physical infrastructure, young and multilingual talent pool, and geo-economic significance due to its location – all make Egypt an attractive investment destination,” the ambassador stated.
He also mentioned that the bilateral trade between India and Egypt has been steady at around $4.5bn from FY 2018-19 to FY 2020-21. In FY 2021-22, bilateral trade increased by 75% to reach a record high of $7.26bn. India’s exports to Egypt grew by 65% to $3.74bn, while India’s imports from Egypt rose by 86% to $3.52bn. India had a slight trade surplus of $220m.
During FY 2022-23, India was Egypt’s 6th largest trading partner with a total trade of $6.06bn (India was the 05th largest exporter to Egypt with a figure of $3.7bn, and 12th largest Importer from Egypt with a figure of $1.4bn). India’s main items of exports to Egypt were Petroleum products, Organic Chemicals, Cotton yarn, and Buffalo meat. The main items of imports from Egypt were Petroleum products, Inorganic chemicals, and metallic and non-metallic compounds.