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Netanyahu's visit: Israeli firms kick off investment talks in India

Firms are looking to enter manufacturing in India armed with cutting edge technology

Subhayan Chakraborty  |  New Delhi 

Netanyahu's India visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Twitter/PMO

On the second day of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to India, firms from the nation kicked off talks of investments in India.

Israel has an investment of over $130 million in India mainly for use on the agricultural, irrigation and renewable energy sectors. New investments are also looking at the manufacturing space.

"We are looking into the specific issues raised by Israeli firms while investing in India and are actively working to reduce those", Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said on Monday.

Addressing a large gathering of business leaders from both nations, Abhishek said the government expects a jump in bilateral investments and trade between both nations.

Netanyahu is leading a delegation comprising 130 representatives of 102 Israeli companies and 10 memorandums of understanding have been signed.

"Over the past one year, we have seen a 16 times increase in the past one year", Deepak Bagla, Chief Executive Officer at Invest India said on Monday.

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Israel is much smaller than India and we cannot compete on mass scale manufacturing but we have considerable strength in technology", Ohad Cohen, Trade Commissioner at the Foreign Trade Administration of Israel told Business Standard.

On the other hand, an increasing number of Indian companies are looking to invest in the middle eastern nation.

While labour costs in Israel are significantly higher and Indian firms have faced difficulty in competing with local counterparts, many Indian firms are now looking to take advantage of Israel's position as a source of cutting-edge technology.

Indian MNCs like Tata, Wipro, Accenture and Piramal are already operating in Israel, Ziva Igor, Chief Executive Officer of Israel's Foreign Investment and Industrial Corporation said.

While most of these companies have extensive research and development facilities in the country, they have set up high-tech manufacturing facilities as well.

She told Business Standard that automobile major Hero group is looking at setting up manufacturing in Israel.

Both governments are also looking to ramp up merchandise trade.

Bilateral trade was $5.04 billion in 2016-17, rising 2.3 per cent in 2016-17 after four consecutive years of declines.

First Published: Mon, January 15 2018. 14:24 IST