Israel Aims to Expand Free Trade Agreement With India

World News Agencies By ANI Wire Service • 18 April, 2023

Jerusalem, 18 April, 2023 (TPS) -- New Delhi [India] April 18, 2023 (ANI)
India has a lot to offer to the world and Israel will propose to expand the Free Trade Agreement, said Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat on Monday during a visit to India.

Barkat was speaking at the India Israel Business Forum organized by Confederation of Indian Industry in Delhi. He is leading a delegation of Israeli businessmen for a series of meetings with leaders in India’s business and government sectors.

Barkat said that the FTA between Israel and India will be discussed with Indian ministers later on Monday.

“The FTA should be in various areas including agrotech and health tech. India’s economy is rising to be the third-largest in the world. What I see here is a huge mutual opportunity and we are here to exploit it,” Barkat said.

“Look at the chip industry, Israel is very strong in the chip industry, it has a lot to offer. We should take a serious look at how to codevelop ideas, a lot of joint ventures are here,” he said while stressing on the need to push for semiconductors as these chips are found in practically every modern electrical appliance.

“We are going to be focusing on issues and business clusters that we’re really good at that Israel has a competitive advantage, one of which I found that there’s interest here, which we call desert technologies to improve quality of life in deserts, managing water, creating water, saving water, creating energy from the sun from the wind in a distributed way and that tailors to deserts food production agrotech creating food from the sea using hydroponics.”

“The fact that you Indian people are eager to grow and scale up the business and collaborate with the world is another great opportunity. What we need to do now is figure out the best way for our entrepreneurs who work with your entrepreneurs, for our small economy, to leverage your scale in huge economy, the size and scope of it and it’s a great match. We compete, we collaborate, we complement each other. We have a lot to offer and you certainly have a lot to offer to Israel,” Barkat said.

Comparing India and Israel’s agricultural sectors, Barkat said that 50 years ago, around 30-40 percent of Israel’s population worked in agriculture. Today, less than 5% of people today are focusing on the agriculture sector in Israel. We’re doing more agriculture by just using technology in a smart way. In India, once you scale quickly and adopt technology, that number will shrink dramatically in the next 20 years,” he said.

India is the world’s seventh largest economy and is Israel’s second largest trading partner in Asia, after China. Bilateral trade is around $8.5 billion.

Israeli exports to India make up around $5.2 billion. Primary areas of trade include computer services, chemicals and industrial products, precious stones and metals, and transportation products. Imports from India $3.3 billion in products, primarily stones and precious metals, wood products, textiles and paper, chemicals, and chemical products.