Israeli PM to visit India to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations

Contact Counsellor

Israeli PM to visit India to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations

  • The Israeli Prime Minister will visit India for the first time to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries
  • This visit will reaffirm the important connection between both the countries and the leaders.

About the Visit

  • It aims to expand the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of innovation and technology, security and cyber, and agriculture and climate change
  • The purpose of the visit is to advance and strengthen the strategic alliance between the countries, and to expand bilateral ties

Economic cooperation between India-Israel

  • India is Israel's 3rd largest trade partner in Asia and 7th largest globally.
  • Trade in diamonds is nearly 40% of bilateral trade.
  • Sectors of trade include pharmaceuticals, agriculture, IT and telecom, and homeland security.
  • Indian software companies, notably TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Wipro, are beginning to expand their presence in Israeli market.

Defence & Security cooperation

  • India imports critical defence technologies from Israel.
  • Joint working group on Defence cooperation was constituted to formulate a 10-year roadmap, identify new areas.
  • Both countries signed Agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, Cooperation in Homeland Security, and Protection of Classified Material.
  • Joint production and innovation in defence technology:
  • Israel is the 3rd largest supplier of defence hardware after the US and Russia.
  • UAVs - Searcher and Heron, Hermes 900 is manufactured in collaboration with an Indian company in Hyderabad.
  • Barak 8 Surface-to-air missile.
  • Spike 4th generation anti-tank missile

Cooperation in S&T and Space

  • Overseen by Joint Committee on S&T, estd. under S&T Cooperation Agreement
  • India-Israel Industrial R&D and Innovation Fund (I4F): to promote, facilitate and support joint industrial R&D projects and address challenges in agreed ‘Focus Sectors’.
  • India-Israel Innovation Centre launched at IoT India Congress in Bengaluru.
  • Technological collaborations: India’s MoU with Israel to accelerate collaboration, innovation and technology coop. b/w entrepreneurs from both countries.
  • Space: In 2017, ISRO & Israel Space Agency- signed 3 agreements on space coop.
  • Collaboration in electric propulsion for small satellite, atomic clocks and GEO-LEO Optical Link
  • In 2011, Israel supplied India with a radar imaging satellite, later c/d RISAT-2. Cryogenic technology

Challenges in India-Israel relations

  • Difficult to delink Israel and Palestine in India’s foreign policy, making it a significant consideration while strategizing diplomatic relationships with Israel and other nations in the Middle East.
  • Israel’s politics dominated by its antagonistic attitude towards Palestinians is also making it difficult for India to enhance diplomatic relationships.
  • Israel’s discrimination towards minorities, especially the Jewish minorities from India is hindering the diplomatic ties.
  • FTA is stuck because of the concerns from the Indian domestic industry.
  • China is Israel's most important Asian economic partner, with strong technological and investment ties which hinders India’s interests with Israel

Way forward

  • Both countries need to sign an FTA and also a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to forge greater business-to-business ties.
  • India must provide greater market access especially in the farm sector, pharmaceuticals and automobiles segments to further boost trade relations
  • India can leverage its space technologies to Israel for its developmental purposes
  • India can take a cue from how Israel maintains stringent external and internal security, allowing Israeli settlements right up to the border of conflict zones.
  • Increase cooperation to combat radicalisation and terrorism, including cyber space can make the relations between both countries more stronger.