NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today embarked on a two-nation tour of Egypt and Germany which is expected to see new vistas being opened in bilateral ties with particular focus on boosting trade and investment.
Egypt will be first destination of Swaraj's four-day trip.
During her visit to Egyptian capital Cairo, she will call on President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, hold bilateral talks with her counterpart Sameh Hassan Shoukry and meet Nabil ElAraby, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, besides other leaders.
Swaraj, in her first visit to the country as External Affairs Minister, is also scheduled to deliver a public address at the prestigious Diplomatic Club in Cairo to be hosted by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs.
"The Minister's visit to Cairo will provide an opportunity to review the entire gamut of our bilateral and multilateral relations and to exchange views with the Egyptian leadership covering whole range of issues of mutual interest," the External Affairs Ministry said.
Egypt has traditionally been one of India's most important trading partners in the African continent.
Trade between India and Egypt during the last financial year (April 2014 -- March 2015) has been recorded at USD 4.76 billion.
Most importantly, India is the sixth largest trading partner of Egypt -- the second largest export destination.
India's imports from Egypt were worth USD 1.74 billion during 2014-15.
There has been diversification in the export basket of Egyptian products to India.
During her visit to Berlin from August 25-27, Swaraj will hold meetings with German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and a number of other leaders.
Both the countries are expected to review bilateral relationship with a particular focus on enhancing economic engagement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Germany in April during which the two countries had agreed to broaden bilateral economic cooperation.
A joint statement issued at the end of his visit had said the two countries have established a robust roadmap for expanding their multi-faceted and mutually-beneficial ties and to further strengthen strategic partnership.
Germany is India's largest trading partner in the EU and one of the top ten global trading partners.
The overall exchange of goods and services between the two countries was valued at around around 15.96 billion euros last year, a drop of 1.14 billion euros from the level of 16.10 billion euros registered in 2013.
While India's exports to Germany rose marginally to 7.03 billion euros in 2014, its German imports dropped to 8.92 billion euros from 9.19 billion euros in the previous year, according to the Federal Statistical Office.
Germany is the 8th largest foreign investor in India.
Its foreign direct investments in India during January-November 2014 was valued at around USD 995.7 million.
More than 1,600 Indo-German collaborations and around 600 Indo-German joint ventures are currently in operation.