The agreement would exempt many import and export ventures from duty in both states. Preliminary negotiations would commence soon and a team of experts from Tel Aviv would be reaching New Delhi
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz announced last Thursday that Israel was set to sign a free trade agreement with India.
Speaking at a trade convention in Shefayim, Steinitz said "The giant Indian market is full of endless opportunities for Israeli companies, of which many are already active there and can now expand their market".
The agreement would exempt many import and export ventures from duty in both states. Israel's Ambassador to India Mark Sofer, reaffirmed the news in Jaipur that India and Israel would soon be signing a free trade agreement.
He also mentioned that preliminary negotiations would commence soon and a team of experts from Tel Aviv would be reaching New Delhi. He further noted that this landmark agreement would give a major boost to both economies. Sofer said that after the free trade agreement is signed, civilian trade between the two countries would reach around 12 billion dollars, triple the present figure of four billion dollars.
Israel has so far refrained from signing such agreements with China and India due to fears that the tiny market would become swamped with cheap goods. But recent complaints by entrepreneurs that the Western market was unresponsive, due to the economic crisis and other issues, caused the Finance Ministry to reconsider.
Steinitz is set to visit India in February in order to sign the agreement, which does not require government approval.
Last August the Indian market became second on the list of Israeli exporters' top aims. Nearly a billion dollars worth of goods were exported there in the past quarter, a 102% rise from the previous year.The trade between India and Israel is expected to reach USD five billion this year from USD 200 million registered in 1992.