New Delhi: Praising the brilliant people in India, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that both the countries can shape the future together.
Addressing the India-Israel Business Summit in the national capital, he said, "There is not going to be anymore distinction between high tech and low tech because at the end everything is going to be technology. In the last 5-10 years, we have car industries. We have 500 startup companies that receive $500 bn investment every year."
Netanyahu added, "You have brilliant people in India. We have brilliant people in Israel. What we can do, is shape the future together. I believe in India. I came here to say today thank you, PM Modi, for believing in Israel, we believe in India."
He also thanked the Prime Minister for the warm welcome. "PM Modi, dear friend, a friend of Israel, thank you for your magnificent hospitality and friendship."
On his part, PM Modi said, "The role of business and industry is crucial in the transformation of our time. I have always had a deep regard for Israel and its people. I visited Israel in 2006 as CM of Gujarat. Last year in July, I visited Israel, the first such visit from India. I experienced the remarkable spirit of innovation, enterprise and perseverance that drives Israel."
He added, "There are new energy and purpose that has invigorated our ties over the last few years. It will help take our cooperation to greater heights. We stand on the cusp of a new chapter in India-Israel relations driven by our people and mutual opportunities for the betterment of lives. The India-Israel innovation bridge will act as a link between the start-ups of the two sides. I have been saying that Indian industries, start-ups and the academic institutions must collaborate with their Israeli counterparts to access the huge reservoir of knowledge."
PM Modi further said, "In India, we have been taking steady steps over three years at both macro as well as micro-level, to make a difference. Our motto is - Reform, Perform and Transform. Today we have emerged as the 6th largest manufacturing nation but we are not done yet: We have worked sincerely on ease of doing businesses in India. The results are there for everyone to see."
"We want to do more and do better. To enable entry of capital and technology, most of the sectors including defence, have been opened for FDI. More than 90 percent of the FDI approvals have been put on the automatic route. We are now among the most open economies. India’s development agenda is huge. It presents a vast economic opportunity for Israeli companies. I invite more and more Israeli people, businesses and companies to come and work in India. Along with government and people, the business community of India too is keen to join hands," he said.
Earlier on Monday, India and Israel inked nine pacts to boost cooperation in key areas, including cybersecurity and energy. The agreements were signed after extensive talks between PM Modi and Netanyahu for bolstering bilateral ties in strategic areas.
The two PMs, accompanied by their respective senior Cabinet colleagues, held delegation-level talks during which they also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interests.
Netanyahu's visit to India is only the second one by an Israeli PM and comes after a gap of 15 years. Former PM Ariel Sharon visited India in 2003.
(With Agency inputs)