India, Israel geared up to improve bilateral trade
New Delhi, May 9: India and Israel will be working on possible joint ventures, investment and technology transfer initiatives, to improve bilateral trade between the two countries.
A Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) business delegation, which is in Israel at present, has identified agricultural research, science, public health, information technology and telecommunications as the new the areas of co-operation between the countries.
The delegation will also participate in the Interactive Meetings that have been organised with the Israel Export&International Cooperation Institute, Federation of Israeli Chamber of Commerce, and Israel Asia Chamber of Commerce.
Horticulture in India is associated with colossal post harvest losses, to the tune of 30 per cent of the produce.
Agriculture on the other hand, is the primary income generator for 67 per cent of the Indian population, and contributes 19.7 per cent to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The visit highlights the importance of agriculture in the productive economy of both the countries.
In contrast, agriculture in Israel is characterised by an intensive system of production that stems from the need to overcome the scarcity of its natural resources.
Israeli agriculture is famous for technological advancements, novel irrigation techniques and innovative agriculture machinery.
The delegation envisages promoting productive linkup between the Indian Agriculture Corporate Organisations with their Israeli counterparts.
Both the countries have granted each other the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status in 1994.
During the calendar year 2005, Indo Israeli trade stood at Rs 250 crore, notching an increase of 16.54 per cent of the same period previous year.
Yet, the potential for improving the Indo-Israeli trade still remains vast.
India can immensely benefit from the advanced irrigation technologies that Israel has developed. The delegation will be visiting agri-processing industries in Israel.
Water remains a problem area for the Indian agriculture and the delegation, with a view to initiate collaborative efforts in irrigation, would explore on-field agriculture under limited water conditions in Israel.
Israel also offers India potentially profitable window to the European Markets, and has developed close trade relations with the EU, with the enlargement of the EU in May 2004.
The European Neighborhood Policy of EU offers the EU and Israel an opportunity to develop an increasingly close relationship, evolve a significant measure of economic integration and deepening of political cooperation.
Significantly, the degree of integration of Israel with the EU's internal markets, reduction of trade barriers and liberalisation of trade, offers all the more reasons for India to collaborate.