India and Israel Lay Groundwork for FTA
Oct. 13 – India and Israel are moving forward with the groundwork for signing a free trade agreement in the near future.
The two sides are expected to sign a financial pact next month to promote bilateral trade.
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz met his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee in Washington on the sidelines of last week’s semi-annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank.
The two leaders have agreed to being laying the groundwork for an FTA.
According to the Economic Times of India, Indo-Israel trade has grown from US$200 million in 1992 to a projected US$5 billion at the end of 2010.
Israeli exports to India in the first half of 2010 were worth US$990 million, an increase of 102 percent year-on-year.
“Israel cannot rely just on the markets in the U.S. and Europe. We need new markets. We must look eastwards especially to India and China. I am interested in a closer connection between India and Israel, similar to the economic ties we have with the U.S. and Europe,” Steinitz was quoted as saying.
“I want to see Indian investments in Israel, just as there are investments by Israeli companies in India,” he added.
Steinitz dismissed fears that the proposed FTA would lead to jobs moving from Israel to India.
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