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Modi invites Israeli investment in defence sector

After the debacle of Spike deal, proving the skeptics wrong the two Prime Ministers display confidence in the strength and depth of the bilateral relations between India and Israel and agree to take it further into new territories.

January 15, 2018 By Rohit Srivastava Photo(s): By PIB
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu during Press Statement, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on January 15, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 15, made a call to the Israeli defence firms to get into partnership with Indian firms to make defence product here. "In defence, I have invited Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalized FDI regime to make more in India with our companies," Modi said, while delivering his press address during the visit of Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu to India. Addressing the press with his Israeli counterpart, Modi said, "Prime Minister Netanyahu and I promised each other and our people to build a strategic partnership: of hope and trust and progress of diverse and cutting-edge cooperation, and of joint endeavours and shared successes." Netanyahu, on January 14, arrived in New Delhi for a six day visit to India and he is also to visit Gujarat and Mumbai. Later during the day on January 15, the two leaders are expected to attend India-Israel Business Summit.

According to the joint statement released after the delegation level meeting, "both Prime Ministers noted the readiness of Israeli companies to enter into joint ventures with Indian companies in the defence sector under the Make in India initiative." "They consider it important to set the direction for developing more business models and partnerships for the joint ventures and joint manufacturing, including transfer of technology as well as joint research and development in defence and security fields," it added. The two sides also called on the defence ministries of the respective countries to discuss involvement of the public and private sectors to crate "viable, sustainable and long term cooperation in the defence industry."

Israel is one of the most important defence partners and has been providing Indian with the most critical weapons and technologies. Last month, Ministry of Defence cancelled the deal to purchase 8,000 Spike Anti Tank Guided Missiles from Israeli missile maker Rafael. The Spikes were expected to be manufactured at the Rafael-Kalyani group joint manufacturing unit at Hyderabad.

"In defence, I have invited Israeli companies to take advantage of the liberalized FDI regime to make more in India with our companies." —Narendra Modi

Recognizing the common threat of terrorism faced by both countries, the two sides "reiterated that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever and advocated strong measures against terrorists, terror organizations, those who sponsor, encourage or finance terrorism or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups." In line with this, India and Israel is holding the next meeting of the Joint Working Groups on Homeland and Public Security in February 2018. They also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Cyber Security. India and Israel, today, signed nine agreements on scientific cooperation, medicine, agriculture and media cooperation.

Displaying the mutual bonhomie, the two leaders, in series of tweets, expressed confidence in each other. "My first visit to India, a world power that is strengthening its relations with Israel. I am excited about this historic week that will further strengthen Israel's international standing," Netanyahu said in a tweet. "Thank you to my good friend, Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi , who surprised me with a personal welcome at the airport upon my arrival in India. Together we will bring the relations between our countries to new heights!," he added.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi welcomes the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, on his arrival, at Air Force Station, Palam, in New Delhi on January 14, 2018

Similarly, his Indian counterpart Modi, in tweet said, "Welcome to India, my friend PM @netanyahu! Your visit to India is historic and special. It will further cement the close friendship between our nations. @IsraeliPM #ShalomNamaste."

India and Israel are celebrating the 25th year of diplomatic relations between the two nations when Indian gave formal recognition to Israel in 1992. Last year, Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to make official visit to Israel. The three day visit in July saw signing of many agreements including billion dollar surface to air missile deal.

On January 14, upon arrival, Netanyahu and Modi together re-named Teen Murti Haifa Chowk to pay homage to the memory of the brave Indian soldiers who laid down their lives a century ago in the Battle of Haifa in Israel.

Agreements between India and Israel

  1. Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel
  2. MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector
  3. Protocol between India and Israel on Amendments to the Air Transport Agreement
  4. Agreement on Film-co-production between India and Israel
  5. MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and the Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Cooperation in the field of Research in Homeopathic Medicine
  6. Memorandum of Intent between Invest India and Invest in Israel
  7. Letter of Intent between IOCL and Phinergy Ltd. For cooperation in the area of metal-air batteries
  8. Letter of Intent between IOCL and Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd for cooperation in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies
  9. MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space