Israeli ministers visit to speed up trade agreement with India

Written by Surabhi Rastogi | Surabhi | Anandita Singh Mankotia | Tel Aviv/Jerusalem | Updated: Dec 26 2009, 04:40am hrs
The proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Israel is expected to get a boost next month, when the Israeli minister for trade, industry and labour Binyamin Bin Eliezer visits India. Eliezer, whose schedule is at present being finalised, is expected to meet his Indian counterpart, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma to discuss the FTA.

While there has been some amount of discussion between the two countries, the proposal is now with the Indian government. We hope to carry forward these talks when our minister visits New Delhi, an official with Israels ministry of industry, trade and labour told FE.

From just $180 million in 1992, Indo-Israel trade has risen sharply to $4.2 billion in 2008-09. The global recession over the last year has however hurt bilateral tradewhich dropped by about 35% in 2009-10 according to Indian government officials.

The Israeli government is hopeful that once the FTA is signed, trade between the two countries will significantly increase in areas such as irrigation, research and technology such as water management and homeland security. Eliezer is also expected to meet Indias minister for agriculture Sharad Pawar and the minister for science and technology Kapil Sibal.