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Israel Set to Sign Lucrative Deal With India's Gujarat State

Israeli Ambassador to Delhi hopeful free trade agreement with India will be signed next February.
By David Lev
First Publish: 12/19/2013, 11:44 AM

President Shimon Peres greets Indian Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar at President's house in 2012
President Shimon Peres greets Indian Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar at President's house in 2012
Flash 90

Israel will soon be signing a deal with the Indian state of Gujarat to develop an industrial investment fund, Israel's Consul General in Mumbai, Jonathan Miller, said in an interview with Indian media. India TV quoted Miller as saying that a memorandum of understanding to open the fund be signed with top Gutjarat officials soon.

"Gujarat is a business-oriented state and this MoU will help both Israeli and Gujarat-based companies in developing and strengthening the industrial relationship,” Miller was quoted as saying.

Gujarat is a highly industrialized region of northwest India, with a population of some 60 million. Gujarat's per-capita GDP is higher than India's national average.

Delegations from Israel and Gujarat are frequent visitors in each others' countries, and there has already been substantial economic cooperation between the two, Miller said. The new memorandum of understanding will focus on developing an investment fund that will help local businesses expand their horizons, he added.

Israel and Gujarat have discussed several areas of cooperation like agriculture, industrial research and development, solar & thermal power, pharmaceuticals, water recycling and water desalination plants. "Our focus is on increasing research ties with Gujarat,” Miller told India TV.

“Israel is keen to increase research and development (R&D) and cultural ties with Gujarat,” he added.

Israel and India have been working on a free trade agreement for several years, and Miller is optimistic that work on the agreement will be completed by next February.

“Israel is a world leader in advanced agriculture technologies. Israel’s success lies in the determination and ingenuity of farmers and scientists and in the close cooperation between R&D and industry,” Miller told India TV. “These characteristics have created a flourishing agriculture sector amidst a difficult environment with limited ground and water resources. Amongst the many fields in which Israel and India collaborate, agriculture has always been front and center.”