India has had a rather complex relationship with Israel, at least in the beginning. But once diplomatic channels were established in 1992, both countries have found more reasons to work together than otherwise. However, even before diplomatic ties could be normalised, India always had a secret door open for Israel – especially when it came to defence ties.
But lately, both countries have begun focussing on areas other than defence. It began with India seeking out Israel’s technology for agriculture, then water and now for urban security as well. And this does not include technologies related to IT, medicare and a variety of other disciplines. This has further deepened connections and has translated into the growing trade and commerce between both countries.
Many Indian companies like Tata Group, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Sun Pharma L&T Technology Services, Infosys, among others have entered into strategic tie-ups with Israel.
Many Israeli companies like ADAMA, Alumayer, Avgol, Aqwis, Ecoppi, Eli Haj, Huliot, IDE, Metzerplas, Naa’n Dan Jain, Netafim, Plasson, Polemix, Rivulis, Teva Pharmaceuticals among others have invested in India.
To understand the hurdles companies facing while investing in India, The Free Press Journal and SIES in association with Invest India is organising a webinar series ‘Financing India’. The focus country for the upcoming session is Israel. It will take place on October 29, 2020.
Click here to register.
The panellists for the discussion are Anat Bernstein-Reich, Chairperson, Israel-India Chamber of Commerce; Benjamin Grossman, Partner and Head of Indian Legal practice, APM & Co; and Sagi Itcher, Economic Consul, Israeli Consulate General, Mumbai. The opening remark for the discussion will be delivered by Ya'akov Finkelstein, Consul General of Israel in Mumbai. The discussion will be moderated by RN Bhaskar, Consulting Editor, Free Press Journal.
Cumulative FDI inflows from Israel into India till December, 2019 stood at USD 188.38 million, according to DPIIT. Meanwhile, the outflow from India to Israel stands at USD 118.24 million, as of September 2019. There are over 300 investments from Israel in India mainly in the high-tech domain and in agriculture. This does not include defence deals — Israel is the second-largest defence supplier to India.
While investments and trade in defence technologies are kept out of the numbers given above, there is no denying that this is a key part of the trade between Israel and India. Israeli investment in agriculture, water technologies and R&D in India are also significant. Israel has developed several centres of excellence in India, which farmers can visit and see for themselves and then decide on how they would like their respective farms to get upgraded.
Clearly, these investments go way beyond commercial value. Expect more of and from Israel.