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Narendra Modi, Benjamin Netanyahu vow to fight terror; Israeli firms invited to work in India

India's development agenda is huge. It presents a vast economic opportunity for Israeli companies, said PM Modi on Monday.

Narendra Modi, Benjamin Netanyahu vow to fight terror; Israeli firms invited to work in India
Image Credit: PIB

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India and Israel are ready to take their relationship to greater heights through mutual opportunities.

PM Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu also took a pledge to fight the global menace of terrorism together and defeat the extremist forces.   

Addressing the India-Israel Business Summit here, Prime Minister Modi said, "I have always had a deep regard for Israel and its people. There is a 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".

He added that he had first visited Israel in 2006 as the Chief Minister 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. 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", he asserted.

Prime Minister Modi further said 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. 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 the foreign direct investment (FDI). More than 90 percent of the FDI approvals has been put on the automatic route. We are now among the most open economies", he stated.

The Prime Minister added that along with the government and people, the business community of India is also keen to join hands.

"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", he concluded. 

He added that India has moved in three short years (2014 to 2017) to 42 places in the business-friendly index where Israel has not reached yet.

On his turn, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 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."

Earlier in the day, the two countries signed nine Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) in various sectors, including cybersecurity, energy and medicine. Netanyahu, who is on a six-day visit to India also received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in cybersecurity was signed. A second MoU was signed between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Israel`s Ministry of Energy in oil and gas sector.

A protocol between India and Israel on amendments to the air transport agreement was also signed. Another agreement was on film-co-production between India and Israel.

A third MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and the Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Centre of Israel, related to cooperation in the field of research in homeopathic medicine.

Another MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space was signed.

A memorandum of intent was on Invest India and Invest in Israel. Indian Oil and Israel`s Phinergy Ltd signed a letter of intent for cooperation in the area of metal-air batteries.

Another letter of intent between Indian Oil and Israel`s Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd was signed for cooperation in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies.

Earlier on Monday, the Israeli Prime Minister was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

Netanyahu, accompanied by a 130-member business delegation, arrived here on Sunday on a six-day visit to India that will also see him going to Agra, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

This is the first Prime Ministerial visit from Israel to India in 15 years after that of Ariel Sharon in 2003.

Netanyahu will also be visiting Agra, Gujarat and Mumbai, and he will be accompanied by the Indian Prime Minister on extensive portions of his visit.

(With Agency inputs)