India and Egypt are expected to deepen their cooperation in the space sector after elevating their relations to a “Strategic Partnership” on 26 January 2023. This follows the bilateral talks facilitated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Mordi and the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. This strategic partnership is expected to enhance outreach in West Asia, India and Egypt. The strategic partnership is anchored on four pillars:
- Political and security cooperation;
- Segment of economic engagement;.
- Scientific and academic collaboration; and
- Cultural and people-to-people contacts.
Moreover, these bilateral trade talks are meant to generate income of USD 12 billion from USD 7 billion from previous partnerships between the two countries.
The two nations agree to expand cooperation in space research, space science, satellite communications and practical applications of space technology to societal challenges. In addition, the partnership will utilise India’s expertise in building and launching satellites and space technology applications. In turn, the Egyptian Space Agency is looking to leverage the partnership to train its engineers in satellite subsystems development, using artificial intelligence in space-related projects, and developing accurate and advanced applications in space.
Egypt and India sowed the seeds of their relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2008. Since then, the two countries have held several joint working group meetings and discussions between India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS). Moreover, since the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) opened in 2019, the two countries agreed on drafting a new MoU that would incorporate the work of EgSA. This draft would also cover ongoing developments in the space sector.
Speaking on the strategic partnership, the Foreign Secretary of India, Vinay Kwatra, highlighted the great potential of the strategic partnership in both the scientific and commercial domains. Additionally, the foreign secretary highlighted the enormous capacity of space in the Indian context, which includes building satellites, building payloads and integrating payloads within launch capabilities.