Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Eli Yishai met on Sunday with his Indian counterpart Shri Ashwani Kumar, to advance negotiations over a free trade zone agreement between the two countries. As part of this week's visit to Israel, Kumar, the Indian Minister of Industry and Trade, will be visiting the industrial park in Jerusalem and the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan. According to figures provided by the foreign trade division of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, bi-lateral trade between Israel and India, amounted to $1.6 billion in the first six months of this year. Exports to India rose 8.6 percent to $753 million during this period, while imports fell 4.4% to $833m. when compared with the first half of 2006. Bi-lateral trade between the two countries generated $2.7b. in 2006. The Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute reported that exports to India not including diamonds rose 58% to $308m. in the first half of this year. Over the past year, 53 Israeli companies started business activities in India, and there now are 982 Israeli companies active there, representing an increase of 6% compared with 2005. During his visit, Kamar will head a business delegation with senior representatives of the Indian telecom and real estate sectors, among others, who are seeking business opportunities and cooperation with Israeli industrial companies. On Monday, the delegation of Indian businessmen will meet with Israeli companies in a discussion forum to examine mutual investment opportunities in the fields of electronics, construction, real estate and energy.