The proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between Israel and India should be as wide as possible to enable more and more trade as it brings people together, Israel's Minister of Economy and Industry M K Nir Barkat said on Tuesday.
The minister said he will hold discussions with the Indian side regarding an FTA between the two countries, negotiations for which have been going on for over a decade.
"As a government to government I am going to be proposing to your ministers to naturally expand the free trade agreement, focus on business development in a smart way, share knowledge and experience as much as possible," Barkat said at a CII event during his visit here.
He said both sides will have to focus on complementary areas for the proposed free trade deal where India and Israel hold a competitive advantage.
"It (FTA) should be as wide as possible to enable more and more trade as free trade brings the people together," Barkat said.
He added that Isreal has a lot to offer in sectors like agrotech, healthtech and foodtech and it translates into a lot of trade from both directions. "So from my perspective, we are coming as open as possible," the minister said.
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The minister also wished that India and Israel double trade every two years. Replying to media queries on the event's sidelines, Barkat described the idea of I2U2 grouping of India, Israel, UAE and the US as "really smart".
"I think that the more time will flow you will see that the relationship and the bonding has a lot to offer because the UAE and Israel are small but well positioned. The American and the Indian economies are large and very complementary," he said.
On alternate plans in the context of Chinese supply chain constraints and Russian sanctions, he said, geopolitical challenges in the world enable more creativity and more development. The minister said he sees a huge mutual opportunity in India, adding, "We are here to exploit it".
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