Israel keen on tapping S India trade potential

The much-delayed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Israel, when signed, will give a fillip to the current $5 billion trade between the two countries and Israel is keen to leverage the hitherto untapped opportunities to achieve it, according to the newly-appointed Consul General of Israel for South India, Menahem Kanafi.

“India business is ripe for cooperation in information technology (with Israel), we are looking at cooperation between Indian and Israeli firms in many ways,” Kanafi told reporters on the sidelines of BangloreIT.biz 2012.

He said the new consulate in Bangalore will be fully functional by the first quarter of next year and will be active to promote bilateral trade. “We are also open to technology transfer; it is up to India to adapt our technology.”

Earlier, at the event, he said the two countries have a lot in common. “Both enjoy high human capital, the potential for synergy between technology companies is limitless.”  
He said commercial success depends on academic research and the two countries can cooperate a lot, especially in research and development.

Not a commercial factor

When asked about sanctions on Iran and the impact of India-Iran ties coming in the way of India-Israel trade, he said, “Sanctions to Iran are not a commercial factor to us; the business world is setting political considerations aside.”

India-Israel balance of trade is skewed in favour of Israel, with exports to India at $2.9 billion and imports at $1.9 billion in 2011-12. Diamonds continue to be main item in the two-way trade. Diamonds constitute a key item in the bilateral trade.

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