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October 7, 2013 3:39 pm

Bennett Says Israel’s Trade With India Could Double in Next 5 Years

avatar by Zach Pontz

Flags of India and Israel drape a lamp post in New Delhi. Photo: Wikipedia.

The value of Israel’s trade with India could double in the next five years, Israel’s Economics Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters on Monday, according to the Economic Times.

Speaking on the sidelines of an economic conference in New Delhi, India, Bennett said, “The bilateral trade (between India and Israel) is $5 billion, at present. I think it could easily be doubled in the next five years, if we take this FTA forward,” referring to the discussion of a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

“I think we need to proceed in the negotiations vis-a-vis the FTA which will be really good for us. I think there is a great future for these two democracies,” Bennett added.

Stressing the need to enhance relationships between Indian and Israeli companies, Bennett was also quoted as saying: “There is an untapped potential for Indian and Israeli companies in the area of R&D and innovation. Companies from both the sides can collaborate with each other in sectors like renewable energy, agriculture, water technology, food technology, ICT and medical devices.”

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Trade between the two countries has skyrocketed in the last two decades. In 1992, it stood at $200 million and now hovers between $5 and $6 billion, according to Business Standard. Israel is India’s second largest arms supplier after Russia; Israel has upgraded India’s Soviet-era armor and aircraft and provided India with sea-to-sea missiles, radar and other surveillance systems, border monitoring equipment, night vision devices, and other military support, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Another agreement, from 2008 on Agriculture Cooperation, is leading to the creation of 29 “Centers of Excellence” across India to demonstrate Israeli technology and teach modern techniques to Indian farmers.

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