INDIA, ISRAEL AGREE TO FORM JOINT STUDY GROUP FOR COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC
PARTNERSHIP: KAMAL NATH
Date : 08 Dec 2004
Location : New Delhi
India and Israel have agreed to set up a Joint Study Group for a comprehensive economic partnership between the two countries. This was announced by Shri Kamal Nath, Commerce & Industry Minister, at the India-Israel Business Conference, organised by the FICCI here today. The Minister said the decision was taken during his discussions with Mr. Ehud Olmert, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade, Labour and Communications of Israel, earlier this morning. Mr. Olmert described that the setting up of the Joint Study Group as a "major breakthrough" and "an important first step" which would lead to closer economic partnership between India and Israel covering a wide range of sectors of interest to both the countries. "Israel is looking at the East now and India is our first stop", Israeli Vice Prime Minister said. He further said that Israel would pursue all avenues of partnership with India particularly in areas of R&D, bio-technology, telecommunications, electronics, etc.
Trade between India and Israel, Shri Kamal Nath said, was expected to reach a figure of US $ 2 billion this year (2004). He suggested that both sides should identify areas for achieving a quantum jump in trade based on their comparative advantages and mutual synergies.
In reply to a question during the FICCI interactive session, Mr. Olmert said that there was no change in Government of India’s policy towards Israel and that Israel had maintained friendly relations with both NDA and Congress governments in the past and with the UPA government now. Hence, "there is a continuity in our relationship", he said.