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India – Israel bilateral relations

India – Israel bilateral relations


India–Israel relations (Hindi: भारत-इज़राइलस ब ; Hebrew: ישראל-הודו יחסי) are the bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the State of Israel. The two countries have an extensive and comprehensive economic, military, and political relationship. They are both in I2U2 Group. The Indian and Israeli governments have stated they have deep ties rooted in mutual problems and a desire to address them, especially in regard to Israeli techs applications for India.

India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest supplier of military equipment to India after Russia. From 1999 to 2009, military business between the two nations was worth around US$9 billion. Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to intelligence-sharing on terrorist groups and joint military training.

As of 2019, India is the third-largest Asian trade partner of Israel, and its tenth-largest trade partner overall; bilateral trade, excluding military sales, stood at $6.3 billion. Relations further expanded during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, with India abstaining from voting against Israel in several United Nations resolutions. As of 2015, the two nations are negotiating an extensive bilateral free-trade agreement, focusing on areas such as information technology, biotechnology, and agriculture.

Israel is represented through an embassy in New Delhi and consulates in Mumbai and Bangalore; India is represented through an embassy in Tel Aviv.

According to an international poll conducted in 2009, 58 percent of Indians expressed sympathy with Israel with regards to the Arab Israeli conflict, compared to 56 percent of Americans.

Bilateral Trade

Bilateral trade between India and Israel grew from $200 million in 1992 to $4.52 billion in 2014. As of 2014, India is Israel’s tenth-largest trade partner and import source, and seventh-largest export destination. India’s major exports to Israel include precious stones and metals, organic chemicals, electronic equipment, plastics, vehicles, machinery, engines, pumps, clothing and textiles, and medical and technical equipment. Israel’s imports from India amounted to $2.3 billion or 3.2% of its overall imports in 2014. Israel’s major exports to India include precious stones and metals, electronic equipment, fertilisers, machines, engines, pumps, medical and technical equipment, organic and inorganic chemicals, salt, sulphur, stone, cement, and plastics. Israeli exports to India amounted to $2.2 billion or 3.2% of its overall exports in 2014. The two countries have also signed a ‘Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement’.

In 2007, Israel proposed starting negotiations on a free trade agreement with India, and in 2010, then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepted that proposal. The agreement is set to focus on many key economic sectors, including information technology, biotechnology, water management, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. In 2013, then Israeli Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett projected a doubling of trade from $5 to $10 billion between the two countries, if a free trade agreement was successfully negotiated. As of 2015, negotiations on a free trade agreement continue, with both countries considering negotiating a more narrow free trade agreement on goods, followed by separate agreements on trade in investment and services.

Following the coronavirus pandemic, on 9 April 2020, India exported to Israel a five-ton shipment of drugs and chemicals. The consignment included ingredients for the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. On this occasion, Sanjeev Singla, India’s ambassador to Israel stressed the bilateral ties between both the countries. It was in March 2020, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Modi to exempt Israel from the export ban on raw materials used to make medicines which would help in treating the patients affected with coronavirus. Israel will be sending life-saving equipment including oxygen generators and respirators to India throughout the week to assist it in the fight against coronavirus.

The 10 major commodities exported from India to Israel were:

  1. Gems, precious metals and coins $973.6 million
  2. Organic chemicals $296.5 million
  3. Electronic equipment $121.2 million
  4. Medical, technical equipment: $59.3 million
  5. Plastics: $56.4 million
  6. Vehicles: $44.4 million
  7. Machinery: $38.1 million
  8. Other textiles, worn clothing: $31.8 million
  9. Knit or crochet clothing: $31.6 million
  10. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $30.8 million

Israeli exports to India amounted to $2.3 billion or 3.8% of its overall exports in 2015. The 10 major commodities exported from Israel to India were:

  1. Gems, precious metals and coins: $933.7 million
  2. Electronic equipment: $389.3 million
  3. Medical, technical equipment: $180.7 million
  4. Iron or steel products: $170.3 million
  5. Fertilizer: $157 million
  6. Machinery: $110.9 million
  7. Organic chemicals: $69.8 million
  8. Other chemical goods: $44.2 million
  9. Inorganic chemicals: $43.6 million
  10. Plastics: $29.5 million

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