President Reuven Rivlin meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
Trade between Israel and India has jumped leaps and bounds in recent years, climbing 2,000% since the countries formalized relations 25 years ago, the Economy Ministry reported on Wednesday.
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s highly anticipated visit to Israel next week, the ministry published a variety of figures on Israel-India trade – which have risen from $200 million in 1992 to $4.167 billion in 2016. In the past decade alone, Israel’s exports to India have risen a total of about 60%, despite a slight decrease last year, according to the data.
“India is a major and important export destination for the development of Israeli export,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen. “The tightening of political relations with India and the historic visit of the prime minister of India to Israel will lead, beyond defense exports, to increased deals in commerce and services as well.”
Modi is expected to arrive on Tuesday with a business delegation, including about 100 entrepreneurs.
Among the delegates will be 15 senior executives of Indian companies – such as Wipro, Reliance, Adani, Tata, Jain, Infosys and Mahindra – who will take part in the founding of a joint forum for CEOs from both countries, a statement from the ministry said.
Members of the delegation, alongside Israeli innovators and investors, are expected to promote new business partnerships and expand existing collaborative activity over the course of the visit, the statement continued. In addition, Modi is slated to attend a breakthrough Israeli innovation exhibition, visit sites using the latest water and agriculture technologies and sign an agreement to promote R&D cooperation between Israeli and Indian companies, the ministry said.
In 2016, India was ranked ninth among Israel’s export destinations, which the ministry attributed to a significant warming in bilateral relations that has taken place in recent years. Collaborative activity has grown in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, science, health, IT, telecommunications and industry. Both parties, according to the ministry, are eager to further partnership ventures in areas like water technologies and smart cities.
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India is Israel’s second-largest trading partner in Asia, second only to China, the ministry statement said. Israel has been negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement with India since 2010, the statement added.
“Modi’s government is working to improve the efficiency of bureaucracy in India, while removing barriers to the activity of international companies, including Israeli companies,” Cohen said.
“There is an opportunity here at a time when the Indian economy is becoming a prime target market with more than 1.3 billion consumers, of which about 300 million residents belong to the middle- and upper-middle class and have purchasing power that is no less than that of the middle class in Western economies.”
A variety of Israeli companies have also already established representative offices or even manufacturing plants in India, including Teva, Netafim, Check Point, Amdocs, Magic Software, Ness Technologies, Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit, Verint, Mobileye and HP Indigo, according to the ministry.
“The Economy and Industry Ministry – by means of the Foreign Trade Administration and of three economic delegations in India – is helping Israeli exporters break into the Indian market, which, despite its complexities and challenges, undoubtedly has enormous economic and commercial potential,” Cohen said.
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