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
- 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.