Trends in bilateral trade and investment between India and Israel

Marking 30 years of full diplomatic ties in 2022, India-Israel trade relations have further strengthened as talks on the possibility of a free trade agreement (FTA) have gathered pace. More recently, the two countries have begun to dialogue outside the prism of geopolitics. Israel’s technological prowess and agricultural advancement techniques are of immense importance to a rapidly digitalizing India.

Recent developments between India and Israel

  • As India and Israel prepare for an FTA, Israel wants to take advantage of the synergies between India’s manufacturing potential and Israel’s technological know-how. Naor Gilon, Israel’s Ambassador to India, on June 29, 2022 expressed Israel’s desire to share technology for the success of India’s flagship program “Make in India”. At the same time, he also expresses concerns about the violation of intellectual property standards.
  • On July 14, 2022, India and Israel, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States, came together for the first meeting of the leaders of the I2U2 group, which was established in October 2021. The group s is focused on launching initiatives focused on food security as well as clean energy. The I2U2 group will also advance a hybrid renewable energy project in the state of Gujarat (India), consisting of 300 megawatts of wind and solar capacity.

Trends in India-Israel Bilateral Trade

India is Israel’s third largest trading partner in Asia and seventh globally. Bilateral trade between the countries has been enhanced through strategic and mutually important sectors like defence, security, agriculture, information technology (IT), etc. According to statistics, bilateral merchandise trade between India and Israel has increased from US$200 million in 1992 to US$7.86 billion in the financial year 2021-2022, with the trade balance in favor of India.

India-Israel Trade Statistics (in millions of dollars)

Year

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

2021-2022

Export from India to Israel

3,364.05

3,717.98

3,363.10

2,701.49

4,796.13

Main exported products

Diamonds, pearls and gemstones, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, electrical and electronic equipment, packaged drugs, organic chemicals, etc.

Share in total Indian exports (in percent)

1.11%

1.13%

1.07%

0.93%

1.14%

India import from Israel

2,066.51

1,931.58

1,592.70

1,960.19

3,073.79

Main imported products

Diamonds, pearls and precious stones, potassium fertilizers, integrated circuits, pesticides, navigation equipment, electrical and electronic equipment, armaments and defense equipment, etc.

Share in total Indian imports (in percent)

0.44%

0.38%

0.34%

0.50%

0.50%

Total trade volume between India and Israel

5,430.56

5,649.56

4,955.80

4,661.68

7,869.92

Share of India-Israel trade in India’s total trade (in percent)

0.71%

0.67%

0.63%

0.68%

0.76%

Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry, India

What are the main items traded between India and Israel?

India’s major exports to Israel include diamonds, precious stones and metals, chemicals, textiles and textile articles, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, electrical and electronic equipment, packaged medicines, organic chemicals, etc.

In fact, the diamond trade constitutes nearly 40% of bilateral trade. India’s major imports from Israel include precious stones and metals, chemicals and minerals, base metals, machinery and transport equipment, potash fertilizers, integrated circuits, pesticides, equipment navigation, electrical and electronic equipment, weapons and defense equipment, etc.

Investment trends between India and Israel

Israeli investments in India

As of March 2022, India received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth US$270.91 million from Israel during the period April 2000 to March 2022. According to Indian government data , there are more than 300 investments from Israel in India, mainly in high-tech and agriculture, then spread across various sub-areas such as manufacturing plants, research and development centers (R&D), subsidiaries, etc.

New sectors, such as water technologies, homeland security and real estate, show an increased preference for Israeli know-how and expertise in addition to traditional areas of engagement, such as agriculture, chemicals, etc.

Israeli companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, IDE, Netafim, ADAMA, etc., are among those that have made notable investments in India.

Indian investments in Israel

India has also expanded its economic presence in Israel. In July 2022, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), a joint venture of India’s Adani Group and Israel’s Gadot Chemicals Tankers and Terminals Ltd, won the $1.18 billion Haifa Port bid. . Haifa is Israel’s second largest port and serves as a major commercial hub on the country’s Mediterranean coast. The city is Israel’s transportation and industrial center and a key rail hub along the Mediterranean. Interestingly, China has also recognized the importance of the region and in 2021 China’s Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) inaugurated the nearby Bay Port container terminal, with an investment of $1.67 billion. .

As of September 2019, cumulative Indian investment in Israel stood at US$118 million. Indian software companies, including TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Wipro, are beginning to expand their presence in the Israeli market. Many other Indian companies have acquired large stakes in their Israeli counterparts. For example, Jain Irrigation fully acquired NaanDan, an Israeli irrigation equipment manufacturing company, and Sun Pharma, which acquired a 66.7% stake in Taro Pharmaceutical Industries in Israel.


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