When the 154-year-old man-made Suez Canal became operational, it reduced the voyage between Europe and India from four months to 30 days. It made Egypt the centre for the development of modern tourism in the mid-19th century, attracting entrepreneurs from across empires. A brisk business grew with the Sindhis from the Bombay Presidency, who made the Egyptian free ports and Cairo as their first overseas bases.
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On December 1, 2023, India will hand over the G20 Presidency to Brazil. The G20 troika will now comprise the three IBSA countries – India, Brazil, South Africa – till November 2025. This trio has an agenda in common and with the G20, such as multilateral reform, energy transitions and digitalisation. IBSA should use its mechanisms and natural solidarity to advance the interests of the Global South.
Between 2023 and 2024, a sweep of democracies across the world are scheduled to hold general elections. India has an interest in several of these: its own national election and those in its immediate neighbourhood; in the G20, of which India is still part of the troika; and in BRICS-plus, where a new global game is afoot.
The G20 summit in India and developments on its sidelines like the announcement of the IMEC, multiple bilateral meetings held by Prime Minister Modi, will all have long term geoeconomic and geopolitical impact. These, along with the summit deliberations and outcome are key to assess the future prospects of great power relations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Cairo on 24-25 June en route home after a successful state visit to the U.S., has highlighted the presence of the small but flourishing Indian community in Egypt. Comprising just 4,300 today, these Indians built businesses over the decades when Egypt was a British Protectorate, and after, and are important to the current upswing in the bilateral
The New Delhi Leaders' Declaration breaks new ground key areas like climate finance, digital public infrastructure, trade, and multilateral reform. While the declaration is backed by unanimous consensus and outlines ambitious and wide-ranging goals, the actual extent of its implementation can only be assessed in the medium term.
The admission of the African Union to the G20 marks the multilateral's first ever expansion. The G20 will now speak for 80% of the world's population. For Africa, this means an opportunity to mainstream its concerns and priorities in global decision-making. Lastly, as the inclusion of AU in G20 took place during India’s presidency, New Delhi can enjoy the fruits of its creative diplomacy as Voice of the Global South.
The expansion of BRICS and the military coups in West Africa have brought to the fore long-suppressed intensities and tensions in the world order. Developed and developing words are in a moment of transition, with middle powers like India playing key balancing roles. Amb. Neelam Deo speaks with us on Unfolding Geopolitics, a new podcast series which observes and explains current and emerging geopolitical and foreign policy trends across the world.
The BRICS Summit in Johannesburg has drawn international attention to the grouping’s past record of achievements and failures, its strained internal dynamics, and new challenges. As BRICS heads into its 18th year, its success and way forward will depend on the members’ ability to tackle the principal challenge of retaining its internal solidarity while balancing expansion and its impact and influence in the world.
India’s rise as a global player is linked to the kind of relationship it enjoys with African countries, especially as the latter is undergoing demographic, political, and socioeconomic transitions. A new report on the India-Africa partnership recommends a resilient ‘Africa policy’ that will collectively enhance diplomatic, defense, cultural, and developmental collaboration between the two countries.