Israel’s Netanyahu Hails “New Era” in Ties with India

Benjamin Netanyahu, the first Israeli prime minister to visit India in 15 years, accompanied by his wife Sara on a six-day visit to India, were given a warm welcome by Prime Minister Modi. Driving the growing ties is both leaders’ shared worldview for national-security and free-markets. Both see Israel’s technology-oriented economy as a natural fit for India’s, which needs innovation to improve everything from farming to healthcare.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu during Press Statement, at Metanyahu and Modi at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on January 15, 2018.

At a press conference in Hyderabad House, New Delhi on January 15, 2018

Netanyahu hailed a “new era” in ties with India as he signed a series of deals on cybersecurity, energy, biotechnology, agriculture, and defense during his first visit. Israel has given initial approval for Indian energy companies to explore oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean. Bilateral trade has jumped from $200 million in 1992, when the two countries opened diplomatic relations, to $5 billion in 2017.

 

Sara and Netanyahu visited Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where Netanyahu tried his hand at a spinning wheel, a pastime Gandhi made popular while he was jailed during British colonial rule. They also visited the Taj Mahal in Agra, and attended a ceremony to name a square in New Delhi ‘Teen Murti’ in honor of the Indian soldiers who died in the fight to liberate Haifa from the Turks in 1918.

Netanyahu addressed the India-Israel Business Summit organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in  New Delhi. On his last night in Mumbai, Prime Minister Netanyahu partied with Bollywood bigwigs such as actor Amitabh Bachchan and director Abhishek Kapoor, and pitched Israel as a film destination: Not just because you can see the snow, the beach, the desert, the salty sea and a sweet-water lake within an hour’s drive, he said, but also because Israel has “great technology for businesses and big ideas.”

 

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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