India, Israel seek to boost trade, investment

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Jerusalem, July 5 (IANS) Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India and Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Wednesday called for realizing the full potential of bilateral trade and investment.

“The two Prime Ministers noted the importance of realizing the full potential of bilateral trade and investment,” a joint statement issued following delegation-level talks led by Modi and Netanyahu said.

“They tasked the India-Israel CEO Forum to come up with early recommendations in this regard,” it stated.

Trade between India and Israel stands at $4.16 billion, around $300 million in favour of Israel.

According to the Indian Embassy in Israel, major exports from India to Israel include pearls and precious stones, chemical and mineral products, machinery and electrical equipment, textile and textile articles, plastics, rubber, plants and vegetable products, mineral products, rubber and plastic products, base metals and transport equipment.

Major exports from Israel to India include defence equipment, pearls and precious stones, chemical and mineral products, machinery and electrical equipment, base metals, machinery, and transport equipment.

According to the statement, both Modi and Netanyahu underlined the need to boost bilateral cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship and called for greater collaboration in the field of start-ups.

“Recognizing the importance of facilitating movement of businessmen and women, India and Israel underlined their expectation that the grant of multiple entry visas to business people for up to five years will encourage greater economic and commercial exchanges,” it stated.

“The two Prime Ministers agreed that negotiations would be conducted on an agreement for the protection of investments in order to encourage bilateral investments from both sides.”

The Prime Ministers welcomed the signing on Wednesday of a MoU for establishing the India-Israel Industrial R&D and Innovation Fund (I4F) by the Department of Science and Technology, India, and the National Authority for Technological Innovation, Israel, with a contribution of $20 million from each side.

“This MoU will play a seminal role in enabling Indian and Israeli enterprises to undertake joint R&D projects leading to development of innovative technologies and products that have potential for commercial application,” the statement said.

“Recognizing the importance of fostering wide ranging knowledge-business partnership for industries, R&D institutions and government agencies from both countries, Israel warmly welcomed India’s offer to be the ‘Partner Country’ for the annual Technology Summit to be held in India in 2018,” it added.

–IANS

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