External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday reposed faith in Egypt’s credibility highlighting the fact that many well-known Indian companies were coming to invest in the country.
Addressing the India-Egypt Business Forum, S Jaishankar said, “Well-reputed Indian companies are coming out to a destination like Egypt, assessing the possibilities here favourably. I think this says a lot about our companies and your credibility as an investment destination. I see a world of possibilities here.”
Meanwhile, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi urged India to increase the turnover of trade and also said that the current revenue was not enough.
“I had the honour to call on the President (Abdel Fattah El-Sisi). Our two colleagues spoke referring to a trade turnover of 7.2 billion dollars. President Sisi told me he doesn’t think it’s enough. So, he urged us, saying, find ways of increasing it,” said S Jaishankar.
Talking about the wheat agreement that took place between India and Egypt, S Jaishankar said, “This year, is the first year after a gap or perhaps the first year ever that Egypt has bought wheat from India. But unfortunately, for us, it turned out to be a difficult year weather-wise for agriculture and therefore some substantial initial supply was not something we could continue.”
Due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Egypt faced a shortage of wheat, which is imported from these two countries for 80 per cent of its needs. India was added to the list of accredited nations that can supply Egypt with wheat on April 14, 2022, ending a long-standing Non-Tariff Barrier.
Egypt has contracted to buy 180,000 tonnes of wheat from India, a deal that is part of the country’s efforts to diversify its wheat supplies.
In May that Egypt had agreed to buy 500,000 tonnes of wheat from India but that a contract had not been signed.
India banned wheat exports in May because of lower domestic production, but made allowances for countries like Egypt with food security needs.
“But there is a lesson that for Egypt sourcing from India is de-risking of food supply which was otherwise very, very dependent on very narrow geographies,” said S Jaishankar in Cairo.
He also highlighted climate change which is acting as the biggest disruptive factor and emphasized on increase in natural disasters in the Indian subcontinent and urged for sustainable solutions.
“I spoke about climate change as a seriously disruptive factor. In the Indian subcontinent, we are seeing floods, heatwaves and cold on a scale which we haven’t experienced before… Sustainable solutions are not going to come only out of conferences,” said S Jaishankar.
Speaking about globalisation, he said that it has inherent risks which must be addressed by like-minded countries.
“It’s very intense globalisation. A globalisation that carries huge opportunities but also has inherent risks which must be addressed by like-minded countries, comfortable countries, getting together and doing more with each other,” said S Jaishankar.
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