Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Indian Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal agreed in principle Monday to set up a joint fund to explore how Israel and India can deepen hi-tech economic relations.In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, Sibal said the fund’s size was to be determined, adding that India would be willing to invest $5 million and expected that Israel would give a similar amount. The group will also seek industry players to contribute to the fund, he said. The purpose of the fund will be to enhance ties between Israel’s innovative IT sector and India’s burgeoning hi-tech manufacturing sector, Sibal said, creating an ecosystem to help navigate trade in a variety of hi-tech areas, including security and consumer electronics.The two countries will also form a working group, with two representatives from each, to hammer out the details of the fund, he said.“We know for a fact that Israel is one of the most innovative nations in the world,” Sibal said. “We believe that to translate innovations into goods and services requires the marriage of industry with innovation. India provides an ideal environment with a low-cost environment and a high-quality workforce.”While Israel has the strong innovative capacity, its small population [just over half the size of New Delhi] means it has a limited market, Sibal said.“We have the market and the robust industrial sector,” he said.Sibal also met with Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett. He is slated to meet with Communications Minister Gilad Erdan and several hi-tech companies on Tuesday.The full interview will appear in The Jerusalem Post Magazine next week.