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  • 08 December, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

India-Israel Relations

India-Israel Relations

The President of Israel recently attended a cultural event at the Israel Museum to mark the opening of a new exhibition titled 'Body of Faith: Sculpture from the National Museum of India.'

Israel's Relationship with India: Key Highlights

  • This exhibition, which translates as "spirit within matter" in Hebrew, is yet another result of the Indian and Israeli nations' growing friendship, as well as a reflection of the deep resonance of arts and culture that our two countries share.
  • The Israeli President made a rare appearance here at an exhibition of Indian deities and temple rituals.
  • India and Israel are “natural allies” who are united by a fundamental commitment to the democratic ideals upon which they were founded
  • The display features 14 exquisite large-scale Indian sculptures created between the fourth and thirteenth centuries, some on loan from the National Museum in New Delhi and some from the Israel Museum’s collection.

India-Israel Relations:

Diplomatic Relations:

  • India officially recognized Israel in 1950. Soon after, Israel established an immigration office in Bombay which was later converted into a Trade Office and subsequently a Consulate.
  • However full diplomatic relations were established only in 1992 and Embassies were opened.

Economic and Commercial Relations:

  • The bilateral merchandise trade increased from USD 200 million in 1992 to USD 6.35 billion (excluding defence) in 2021-2022, with the trade balance favoring India.
  • India is Israel's third-largest trade partner in Asia and seventh-largest trade partner worldwide.
  • Bilateral trade has expanded in recent years to include pharmaceuticals, agriculture, information technology and telecommunications, and homeland security.
  • Israeli firms have been instrumental in transferring technology to India in areas such as renewable energy, telecommunications, and water technology. Many of them have also established R&D facilities in India.
  • The two countries are also discussing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Defense Collaboration:

  • Israel exports critical defense technologies to India. The armed forces exchange personnel on a regular basis.
  • There is security cooperation, including a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism.
  • Israeli Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control Systems), Heron drones, and Barak anti-missile defence systems are used by Indian forces.

Agriculture Collaboration:

  • In 2021, the two countries will sign a three-year joint work program for agricultural development cooperation.
  • It aims to establish Centers of Excellence, strengthen value chains, and encourage private investment.
  • Israel's expertise and technologies in horticulture mechanization, orchard and canopy management, micro-irrigation, and post-harvest management have benefited India.
  • Drip irrigation technologies and products from Israel are now widely used in India. Through their expertise in high milk yield, some Israeli companies and experts are providing expertise to manage and improve dairy farming in India.

Technology & Science:

  • Under the S&T Cooperation Agreement signed in 1993, the two countries established a Joint Committee on Science and Technology.
  • The India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) was established to promote, facilitate, and support joint industrial R&D projects between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India and the Israel Innovation Authority of the Government of Israel.
  • It will address the issues in the agreed-upon 'Focus Sectors.'


  • The Tamar and Levianthan gas fields off the coast of Israel were recently explored, and India was one of the first countries to bid for an exploration license to extract and import natural gas from the fields.
  • The Israeli government awarded an exploration licence to India's ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources, Indian Oil, and Oil India, indicating the two countries' ongoing diversification of ties.

Way Forward

  • P2P contact: Despite growing goodwill between the two states, people-to-people contact is still lacking. Increased citizen participation will deepen relations between the two countries.
  • Greater trade volumes: While trade volumes between the two countries have increased year after year, they remain far below their potential. The FTA should be implemented as soon as possible, and the trade basket should be expanded.
  • Striking a balance: While Israel appears to be a natural partner, India should be concerned about the human rights situation in Palestine. So far, India has managed to strike a balance between geostrategic needs and international morality.
  • China and Israel: China's engagement with Israel has recently increased, primarily for the latter's technology. From now on, India should be proactive in developing its relationship with Israel.

Source: The Hindu

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