New Delhi: Israel on Monday said its trade with India can be doubled to USD 10 billion in the next five years, if both the sides work towards concluding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between them.
"The bilateral trade (between India and Israel) is USD 5 billion, at present. I think it could easily be doubled in the next five years, if we take this FTA forward," Israel Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event here.
"I think we need to proceed in the negotiations vis-a-vis the FTA which will be really good for us. I think there is a great future for these two democracies," he added.
The agreement will help in enlarging the trade basket and volume between the two countries.
Asked by when the FTA is likely to be concluded, Bennett said, "It is still being negotiated. There is time to go, it will take a while."
India and Israel, which commenced the negotiations in 2007, had concluded the seventh round of talks in June this year. The next round of negotiations for the pact will be held here in November.
Stressing upon the need to enhance collaboration between Indian and Israeli companies, Bennett said: "There is an untapped potential for Indian and Israeli companies in the area of R&D and innovation. Companies from both the sides can collaborate with each other in sectors like renewable energy, agriculture, water technology, food technology, ICT and medical devices.
Israel has expertise in the area of innovation and R&D.
Israeli Ambassador to India Alon Ushpiz said: "There is a great potential of doing business between the businessmen of the two countries. Israeli companies need to find a suitable and long-term partner."