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FTA talks, business agreements expected during Israeli PM's India visit

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. File

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. File | Photo Credit: AP

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett 's April 3-5 visit to India will boost bilateral discussion regarding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), said Anat Bernstein-Reich, Chairperson, Israel-India Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Bernstein's remarks to The Hindu came soon after India on Tuesday officially announced the visit of the Israeli leader which will also mark the 30th anniversary of establishment of formal diplomatic relation.

"I believe that at least five agreements between Israeli and Indian companies will be signed during this visit. We also intend to revive the CEO Forum initiated by Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu that brings under one roof the leaders of companies from Israel and India," said Ms. Bernstein-Reich who will be part of the official Israeli delegation. It is understood that both sides will also exchange ideas on the current scenario in Ukraine. Mr. Bennett has been in contact with the leaders in Moscow and Kyiv to find a solution to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The Free Trade Agreement with Israel is aimed at broadening the basket of India-Israel trade which is currently dominated by defence, high tech and agriculture collaboration. Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had said earlier that the pact will be one of the major bilateral trade initiatives that India is aiming at.

Ms. Bernstein-Reich said, the high-level delegation will include Dr. Ron Malka, the Director General of the Ministry of Economy of Israel. Mr. Malka until recently was the ambassador of Israel and his tenure had ended during the pandemic.

"Due to COVID-19, he did not have a proper farewell party. I am sure that this visit will also give him an opportunity to thank his Indian colleagues and staff," said Ms. Bernstein-Reich.

The Ministry of External Affairs said the visit by Prime Minister Benett would be his first to India in his capacity as the Prime Minister of Israel. The two leaders had met in November last year in Glasgow on the sidelines of the COP26 summit. They had a telephonic conversation before that on August 16, 2021.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 12:11:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/fta-talks-business-agreements-expected-during-israeli-pms-india-visit/article65249959.ece