Israel, India Seek to Boost Trade Ties

Countries have strong defense ties, and frequently cooperate in the fields of science and technology.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met visiting Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna on Jan. 10 and called for greater cooperation, which would include increasing trade.

Krishna is in Israel as the two countries mark 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

"India and Israel are two ancient peoples seizing the future: in technology, in innovation, in enterprise, and I think we can seize it even better by our cooperation," Netanyahu said.

"I look forward, minister, to discussing with you all these areas of cooperation between us, including the signing in the near future of a free trade agreement to multiply our trade and to increase the cooperation economically between India and Israel," Netanyahu said.

Krishna told the Israeli leader he had come "to chart out a road map for the next two decades of India-Israel cooperation," and said he was hoping to see "an increased economic content to our existing political relationship."

"I think my visit primarily would be focusing on the economic content, security, terror -- these are some of the issues which are commonly faced both by Israel as well as India," the statement quoted Krishna as saying.

"We will have to work out a strategy as to how we address ourselves to the scourge of international terrorism which has become the curse for the entire humanity."

India and Israel have strong defense ties, and frequently cooperate in the fields of science, technology and agriculture.

Israel has signed a huge array of defense agreements with New Delhi and, in 2007, replaced France as India's second-largest arms supplier after Russia.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

TAGS: Trade
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