Israel's Economy Minister Nir Barkat To Visit India On Sunday

India is Israel's second-largest trade partner in Asia and the ninth-largest globally
Nir Barkat
Nir Barkat

Israel's Minister of Economy Nir Barkat will travel to India with a large business delegation on Sunday on a four-day official visit to strengthen bilateral ties in common areas of interest, automotive technologies and fintech. The former mayor of Jerusalem will visit Delhi and Mumbai. After Barkat's visit, another business delegation from Israel is expected in May along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen.

The focus of the delegation led by Barkat is automotive, fintech and climatech, according to an official statement. The delegation will include senior officials from the ministry, the Israeli Export Institute, the Israeli Innovation Authority and the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce, it said. "I am happy to come to India this time along with a large delegation that focuses on the common areas of interest for India and Israel- Automotive and Fintech", said Anat Bernstein-Reich, the newly appointed president of the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce.

Bernstein-Reich will be part of the business delegation. "Automotive technologies grow to be a leading area of collaboration between Israel and India with recent collaborations between Phinergy, Indian Oil and Hindalco, Zooz Power and Anand Group and few more," she said.

Free Trade Agreement discussions do not seem to be on the agenda of this visit but are likely to be taken up during the visit of the foreign minister tentatively scheduled for mid-May, a source said. “The visit is entirely bilateral. The economic forum is being organised in collaboration with CII and IEI. The participation from an Indian minister is still awaited,” the source said.

India is Israel's second-largest trade partner in Asia and the ninth-largest globally.  From $200 million in 1992, bilateral merchandise trade increased to $7.86 billion (excluding defense) in FY 2021–2022, with the balance of trade in India's favour. In FY 2022-23, as per data available for April to November 2022, bilateral trade stood at $7.07 billion (excluding defense).

Though bilateral trade is dominated mainly by diamonds and chemicals, recent years have witnessed increased trade in areas such as electronic machinery and high-tech products, communications systems, medical equipment, according to Indian embassy in Tel Aviv.

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