Israel President hopes India visit opens way for full FTA

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Pointing out that India is the top trading partner of his country, visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday said he hoped his visit will pave the way for a full Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

“India is today the top trade partner for Israel. The Israeli business delegation accompanying me is here to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make with India’,” Rivlin said at the India-Israel Economic Forum here.

“I hope the visit will open the way for a full Free Trade Agreement between the two countries,” Rivlin added.

The event was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Indian Industry and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

He exhorted the business leaders to work closely together to create a stronger market in both the countries.

The Israel President said bilateral trade was growing at a rapid pace and there was great scope for cooperation in water treatment projects, optics, metals, aviation, diamonds and textiles.

NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who was present at the event, said India’s ambition was to grow 9-10 per cent annually over three decades, for which the government is undertaking structural reforms such as the bankruptcy law, Goods and Services Tax and the most recent demonetisation of high-denomination currency.

“It would be difficult for India to grow at this rate without a dynamic and durable economic and business partnership with Israel,” Kant said.

He mentioned defence manufacturing, agriculture and water management as some of key areas where the two countries need to develop strong partnerships.