Mark Sofer, the Israeli ambassador to India, has left his role optimistic that economic ties between the two countries will accelerate. Throughout 20 years of economic cooperation, the focus has been on agriculture and water, one of Israel’s specialties as a desert country. According to the Indian news site, Rediff.com, Indian Agriculture Ministry official Sanjeev Chopra has said that India has a ways to go to catch up to Israel in some areas of agriculture, and that agriculture is just the beginning of economic ties between the two countries.
The goal of the ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiation between India and Israel is to raise trade to $15 billion per year between the two countries by 2015. Currently, trade between the two countries hovers at $5 billion a year, growing only 15% over the last 5 years. Agriculture, biotechnology, and IT are poised to get the biggest boosts. With a formal FTA, it would be expected that commodities, investments and services, will also increase.
Until now, India has been exporting mainly diamonds, drugs, and plastics to Israel. Israel has been exporting fertilizer, polished diamonds and gems, and electronic equipment. The FTA may open doors for Israeli entrepreneurs who can find a match for their products in the developing economy of India.
If you know of an Israeli company that is starting to do business in India, please let us know, we’d love to hear about you.
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