Sanjay Jog | Mumbai October 11, 2013
Security, energy and agriculture among focus areas
The countries also plan to increase investment flow in defence and homeland security, to tackle global terrorism
The governments of India and Israel have agreed on joint initiatives in investment, research and development (R&D), security and farming, among others.
The countries would jointly set up a research and development (R&D) fund and promote investments in security, cyber security, energy, water recycling and solid waste management, agriculture and post-harvest management. The size of the fund has not been decided.
Israel also proposes to increase the number of model farms from 20 to 100 across the country, helping farmers increase production. The countries also plan to increase investment flow in defence and homeland security, to tackle global terrorism.
These were disclosed by Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett during an interaction here on Thursday. Bennett said it was decided to float the R&D fund during his meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
During his Mumbai visit, Bennett met Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry, requesting investments in Israel. “My advise to Israeli companies and investors is to become partners with Indian counterparts, keeping long-term investment plans in mind. Do not come to India if you have short-term objectives,” he said. The time taken for investment decisions is a little long in India, the minister said, adding his country expects faster decision making.
India and Israel are working to finalise a free trade agreement and a free talent deal, he said. “Israeli students should take a plane and land in India to join the university of their choice. We want to promote free flow of talent in both countries.”
The annual bilateral trade has increased to $6 billion from $180 million in 1992, Bennett said. “Our goal is to double it. The FTA is expected to expand the basket of goods that will be traded and create significant opportunities for traders and business persons of both countries.”
The economy minister also met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. “Israel will set up a model farm at Dapoli in the Konkan region to help increase mango output. A similar model farm will be established in Nagpur for citrus fruit.”
Israel was also keen to share post-harvest management know-how, he added.
Israel wants to include talent sharing in FTA with India
By PTI Oct 10 2013 , Mumbai
Israel today said it will push for inclusion of knowledge sharing in the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with India and described the pact as a "game changer" once it comes into force.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who is visiting India, said he is keen to get the proposed trade pact extended to sharing intellectual properties and also call it a "free talent agreement".
Going by the deep interest of India and Israel in education, the proposed FTA should be aimed at attracting talent, which are aplenty in both the countries and not just driving merchandise trade, he said.
Bennett described the proposed pact as a "double FTA and a giant leap and game changer", wherein it also stands for "free-talent agreement".
"The real diamond in the proposed FTA jewel will be talent flows between the two nations. Why we should haggle with visa and all other regulations to share talent? Why can't we allow our students and engineers to take the next flight and reach the destination of his choice to do something productive in each of our countries?"
Asked by when the FTA is likely to be concluded, the visiting Minister said, "it is still being negotiated. There is time to go, it will take a while as there are issues, primarily around tariffs, to be resolved. But I feel we should look at the long-term as the short-term losses will be recovered in the long-run."
India and Israel started FTA talks in 2007, and concluded the seventh round of talks in June this year.
The next round of negotiations will be held in January during the visit of India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to the West Asian nation, Bennett said.
He said the current USD 5 billion annual bilateral trade can more than double if the FTA is signed. Currently, the bilateral trade is evenly balanced.
The USD 5 billion trade is excluding defence sales, where Israel is one of the largest suppliers for India.
Bennett, accompanied by a large business delegation, has been on an official tour of India since Monday, and has met with the Finance, Commerce and IT Ministers in New Delhi.
Sanjay Jog | Mumbai October 10, 2013
India, Israel to set up R&D fund for promotion of investments
Both countries very keen to double bilateral trade from current $6 billion
India and Israel will soon set up research and development (R&D) fund with up to 50% investment from both the countries to promote investments in the field of security, cyber security, energy, water recycling and solid waste management, agriculture and post harvest management.
Besides, Israel proposes to increase the number of model farms from the present level of 20 to 100 across the country which will ultimately benefit the farmers to increase the farm production.
Besides, both the countries plan to increase the investment flow in defence and home land security in a serious bid to jointly tackle the global terrorism.
These slew of initiatives were shared by Israel's minister of economy Naftali Bennett in an exclusive iteraction here on Thursday. Bennett said during his meeting with the union finance minister P Chidambaram it was jointly decided to float R&D fund.
However, he added that the size of the fund is not yet fixed. During his Mumbai visit, Bennet met Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani and Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry and made an appeal for investments in Israel.
''My advise to the Israeli companies and investors is to become partner with Indian counterparts keeping long term investment plans in mind. Do not come to India if you have short term objectives,'' Bennett said. He observed that the time taken for investment decision is little long in India and his country expects fast decision making.
''Israeli student should take a plane and land in India to join university of his or her choice. We want to promote free flow of talent in both the countries,'' the minister said. He informed that India and Israel are working to close the free trade agreement and free talent deal.
Bennett informed that the annual bilateral trade between the two countries have increased to $6 billion as on date from $180 million in 1992.
''Our goal is to double it. FTA is expected to expand the basket of goods that will be traded and create significant and substantial business opportunities for traders and business persons of both countries.
Meanwhile, Bennet met the Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
''Israel will set up model farm at Dapoli in the Konkan region to help frow mango output. Similar model farm will be established in Nagpur for cytrus fruit,'' he informed. He added that Israel is also keen to share know how in post harvest management in Maharashtra.
India-Israel trade rises to $6 billion in 2012-13
Hyderabad: Trade between India and Israel touched the $6-billion mark during 2012-13, up from $5.15 billion in 2011-12, according to an official from the Israeli Embassy.
Addressing a meeting here hosted by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Fapcci) and Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Jonathan Ben Zaken, Attaché - Economic and Commercial Affairs, Embassy of Israel, said trade volumes had grown to this level from a modest $200 million in 1992.
He further said bilateral relations between India and Israel had strengthened significantly in recent years with both nations experiencing a convergence of interests in agriculture, farm research, science, public health, IT, telecommunications and cooperation in space.
The Israeli industry is keen to take advantage of synergies with India in areas like water technologies, information technology and sectors that Israel is strong in.
About 265 information technology companies are doing significant business in Israel.
His country was always looking for innovation in solutions, technology, development and relations between countries, he said.
Fapcci President Srinivas Ayyadevara said: “Early implementation of the proposed free trade agreement between India and Israel will boost the bilateral trade multi-fold.”
Ken Uday Sagar, President, Indo Israel Chambers of Commerce and Industry, explained the potential for collaboration and scope of bilateral trade.