Prime Minister Narendra Modi's three day (4-6 July) visit to Israel started on Tuesday, the first by an Indian prime minister to the Jewish nation, where he will discuss with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu the common challenges like terrorism and also ways to boost the economic ties.
"As the first Indian Prime Minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer. This year, India and Israel are marking 25 years of our diplomatic relations," Modi said on Monday .
He said he will hold in-depth talks with Netanyahu and seek to strengthen the ties between the countries.
Modi will join with leading Indian and Israeli CEOs and start-ups to discuss "shared priority of expanding business and investment collaboration on the ground".
"In addition, I hope to get insights into Israel’s accomplishments in technology and innovation through on-site visits," Modi said.
Israel is ranked at 38th in terms of total merchandise trade with India in 2016-2017. The total merchandise trade between the two country stood at $5 billion in the last fiscal.
Here's a look at India's trade with Israel in four charts:
From a high of $3.7 billion in 2013-14, India's merchandise exports to Israel dropped to $3 billion in 2016-17, though it was marginally higher compared with $2.8 billion in the previous year. In percentage terms, the exports rose 8.64 percent in last fiscal compared with a 14.25 percent decline in the previous year. Exports to Israel accounts for just about 1 percent of India's total exports in the past consecutive five years. The major commodities exported include mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes, natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones, precious metals and articles thereof, imitation jewellery and coin, etc.
India's imports from Israel fell from a high of $2.4 billion in 2012-13 to $1.97 billion in 2016-17. In the previous four years, the figure was consistently above $2 billion. The imports from Israel constituted just about 0.5 percent of India's total imports in the past five years. The major items that are bought from Israel include natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones, precious metals,imitation jewellery, coin, electrical machinery and equipment and parts; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers,and parts.
India's total trade with Israel fell from a high of $6 billion in 2012-13 to $5 billion in 2016-17. It showed 2.23 percent rise in 2016-17 compared with a 12.49 percent decline in the previous year.
Israel is one of the 17 countries with which India has a trade surplus of more than $1 billion. What this means is India's exports to Israel is more than imports from there. The trade surplus with Israel fell from $1.4 billion in 2012-13 to $1.1 billion in 2016-17. The figure had fallen below $1 billion in 2014-15 (at $962 million) and in 2015-16 (at $726 million).
On the foreign direct investment front, inflows from Israel have been a lowly Rs 679.58 crore or $122.27 million between April 2000 and March 2017.
Clearly, Modi should, during his historic visit, focus on attracting more investments from Israel.
With PTI inputs
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Updated Date: Jul 04, 2017 14:04:30 IST