Vijay Rupani arrives in Israel on six-day visit

Last Updated 27 June 2018, 04:57 IST

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has arrived in Jerusalem on a six-day visit to Israel to strengthen cooperation in the fields of internal security, water management and agriculture.

It is Rupani's first trip abroad as chief minister and comes months after he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Gujarat in January.

The chief minister is being accompanied by a delegation of top officials from the security, agriculture and water treatment related departments, besides several businessmen from the state.

Minister of State for Agriculture Jaydrathsinh Parmar is also accompanying Rupani during his June 26 to July 1 visit to the Jewish state.

"We are happy to continue our strong partnership with Gujarat. It is a proud moment for us to host the chief minister of Gujarat and his delegation," Israeli ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said.

"We look forward to working with the Indian federal government, the government of Gujarat and other states to integrate relevant Israeli technology and innovation in the Indian agricultural ecosystem," he said.

Israel's Consul General in Mumbai will also accompany the chief minister.

During his visit, Rupani will meet members of the Gujarati business community who have been living in Israel since the 1980s.

Most of these businessmen are active in the diamond trade which constitutes more than 50 per cent of the total bilateral trade between India and Israel.

Rupani will also visit the diamond bourse.

Several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are likely to be signed during the visit to further strengthen cooperation in the field of water management and agriculture.

Israel has already assisted the Gujarat government in developing two centres of excellence for agriculture in Banaskantha and Kutch districts.

Rupani will be visiting Shafdan wastewater treatment plant; attend a presentation by Israel's national water company Mekorot, and see facilities of Sorek desalination plant, NaanDan Jain Irrigation and Suplant, which has developed an algorithm to analyse data collected from sensors: soil, climate and plant-based.

On the side of possible security cooperation, the Gujarat leader will meet senior executives from leading companies like Mprest (monitoring and control solutions for security), Magal security systems, Mer Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, Tahal, Elbit systems to study their solutions on internal security management. He will also visit the Tel Aviv Municipality Command and Control Center.

Representatives of iCreate, which promotes entrepreneurship and innovative technology, are likely to sign two MoUs with Israel's Pearl Foundation and Start-Up Nation.

The Israeli Prime Minister, accompanied by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, inaugurated an iCreate campus during his one day trip to Gujarat in January this year.

Called the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate), the body is a public-private partnership (PPP) venture of the Gujarat government, set up to nurture entrepreneurs by providing them with funds, space, mentors and other facilities.

Israel Innovation Authority is said to be closely working with Gujarat to promote joint projects. Rupani is likely to meet with winners of the Innovation Bridge and also look at the solution of Mobileye (Advanced driving assistance systems) which has attracted global attention.

The Gujarat chief minister is likely to call upon Netanyahu and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel during his visit.

He will also visit the Holocaust Museum (Yad Vashem) in Jerusalem and the Cemetery of fallen Indian soldiers during World War I in Haifa.

(Published 27 June 2018, 02:27 IST)

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