Israel has “no concerns” over the free trade agreement (FTA) being negotiated with India and industry should not consider the agreement as a threat, as both the nations stand to benefit from it, Amit Lang, the director general of Israel’s ministry of economy, said here on Tuesday.
Lang, who is on a two-day visit to the country accompanied by several other Israeli officials to take forward the negotiations on the FTA and enhance economic cooperation between the two nations, told reporters, “I don’t see any obstacles.
Indian side is looking to benefit from the FTA and similarly, Israel is also looking for the same opportunity. We are not threatening India like the US, EU. Industry should not be threatened by us. Industries which are considered big in Israel, will be considered small and medium industries in India”.
Without giving a timeline for the completion of negotiations, he added that the FTA would be complementary for both the countries as while Israel is good in innovation, India leads in services and manufacturing. The trade between the two countries stood at $6 billion in 2013-14.
With regards to the government initiatives including Make in India, building smart cities and digital India, he said that Israel wants to offer its expertise on the “components of smart cities like security, water management, energy solutions among others.”
“We are going to meet officials of the ministry of urban development on Wednesday for the smart city project,” he added. Israel is looking to partner with India in areas including medical devices, clean technology, and energy, with the main focus on clean water. Lang said that Israel, which has the world’s largest and cheapest desalination plant in the world, can offer its expertise on water purification and waste water treatment for the cleaning of the Ganga river and “we have met the government’s water secretary here”.