Trade with India will triple after FTA, says Israeli envoy

Bhubaneswar, April 18 (IANS) Talks between India and Israel over a free trade agreement are progressing well and two-way trade could triple once it is in place, a senior Israeli diplomat said here Thursday.

The volume of trade between the two countries, which now stands at about $5 billion, may rise to $15 billion, Yahel Vilan, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in India, told reporters here.

Vilan is leading a high-level delegation that met with senior Odisha government officials and discussed with them various areas on which the two sides can collaborate.

The delegation met secretaries of different departments, including health, housing and urban development, industry leaders, academics, students and politicians, and discussed with them the areas of mutual interest.

Vilan said Israel is keen on expanding businesses and focusing in areas such as healthcare, agriculture and agri-related sectors like irrigation and water management.

He said two major exhibitions would be held in Israel in June this year, and his team has invited state officials and industry leaders to be a part of the Indian team that would participate in the events.

The team, which arrived here Wednesday, is slated to hold more discussions with senior political leaders and trade leaders before leaving Friday.

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