Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi today, saying the latter is changing India through innovation and trying to make it a global power.
Emphasising that Israel seeks to form partnership with India in "every field", Netanyahu said he wants young Israelis to come to India, "not just with the backpack, but with a laptop".
Modi also lauded Israel for its innovations and said he was making efforts for creating innovation-friendly systems for a new India that is driven by innovation.
Both the leaders were addressing young entrepreneurs and businessmen here after dedicating International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate), a public-private partnership (PPP) venture set up to nurture entrepreneurs by providing them funds, space, mentors and other facilities.
Netanyahu urged innovators from India and Israel to work together.
"Prime Minister Modi is changing India, by the force in vision of his leadership. He is revolutionising India. He is catapulting it into the future, and as one of the world's great power. And he is doing it through the power of innovation," Netanyahu said.
He was speaking after dedicating 'iCreate' to the nation. 'iCreate' was launched in 2011 by Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. It mentors budding entrepreneurs and helps them to set up their own start-ups based on innovations.
"I want young Israelis to come to India, not just with the backpack, but with a laptop. This is essentially a boundless potential and that's why I have come here, to encourage young innovators from our two countries to work together," he said.
"I thank Modi for his vision and for his friendship, and for recognising the immense potential of our partnership" the Israeli PM added.
Impressed by some of the innovations put on display at iCreate, Netanyahu said, "The world knows about iPods, they know about iPads, but there is one more 'i' the the world needs to know about - iCreate."
When Netanyahu said he and the Indian prime minister are young, Modi was seen laughing heartily.
"As you all know, I am sure you have noticed, Prime Minister Modi and I are both very young and very optimistic. We are young in our thinking and we are optimistic about the future," he said.
"Today, I have a simple message. I want young Indians to know that Israel wants to form partnership with you, in technology, in water, in agriculture, in cyber, in drones, in health, in life sciences, in every field. We are your partner," he said.
Modi said that he was happy that iCreate was being inaugurated in the presence of Netanyahu.
"When I went to Israel last year, I made up my mind that this foundation should have stronger relations with Israel. Since then, I was waiting for my friend Benjamin Netanyahu to come to India. He is here and now we are inaugurating this foundation," Modi said.
"We are working towards making entire system in our country innovation-friendly. Curiousity produced intent, whose power leads to innovation that will make new India," he added.
Innovation, he said, plays a major role in bringing together the people of India and Israel.
"People of Israel have proved that it is not the size and shape of a country but the determination of its citizens which takes it ahead," he said.
Modi expressed hope that iCreate will boost innovation and enterprise in the country.
"No institution can be evaluated at the time of its birth. Gujarat is renowned in pharmaceutical sector. But the reason behind it is that 50-60 years ago one pharmacy college was established by a visionary businessman," he said.
The two prime ministers also gave away awards to 38 entrepreneurial projects from the two countries -- 18 from India and 20 from Israel --.