Economy Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu) on Wednesday announced that Israel would cross the export threshold of $100 billion annually for the first time due to the expansion of trade with India. Minister Cohen spoke to Kol Rama radio on the occasion of the state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week.
“The economic world has changed,” said Cohen. “A world that was once based on Arab oil, is becoming a technological world. In the new economic world, the State of Israel is a key player, which explains the strengthening of the State of Israel.”
Israel-India relations in the field of arms sales date back many years, with Israel being the second largest exporter of arms to India (behind Russia and ahead of the US), and India being the largest arms importer in the world. Israeli arms deals with India have so far included warships, artillery, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and electro-optical equipment.
A number of major arms deals were forged between the two countries in the 2000s, such as the $1 billion sale of Dassault Falcon 2000 spy planes; $270 million Barak surface-to-air missile manufactured by IAI; and Oren Yarok – the radar system used by the Arrow 2 missile, the sale of which is also being negotiated.
In addition, Israel trains Indian soldiers, mainly in anti-terrorist activities. India asked Israel to assist in the establishment and revitalizing of Force 1, a hostage rescue unit, following the terrorist attack in Mumbai.
According to Cohen, Trade between Israel and India today stands around $4 billion annually, and there’s much room for growth.