BENGALURU: Friendship between India and Israel is based on co-operation and should not be viewed as a developed country playing mentor to India, said Daniel Carmon, Israel’s Ambassador to India, on Monday.
He was addressing members of trade body FKCCI in the city. “We are here to cooperate. Almost all that we do together is based on co-operation and we are not here as people who know better,” he said. Carmon, accompanied by Consul General Menahem Kanafi, visited IISc earlier in the day.
Commenting on the relation between the two countries, Carmon said, “The volume of trade between the two countries has decreased in the last year, but we are working to increase it again. It was around US$6 billion in 2012. The Israeli government has identified India as a priority and talks are on to make this happen.”
However, the Ambassador also hinted that the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries would not be implemented soon. “Both sides should do more. Issues have to be dealt with from both sides,” he said before adding, “I am not immensely optimistic that this will happen very soon.”
Israel is also planning to enter the dairy-farming sector through its Centres Of Excellence of which 13-14 are already functional in India. There are around 28 centres planned in total. “We are going into dairy farming in the state of Haryana,” he said.
Discussing future areas of growth, Carmon said research and development in water and energy-based technologies should improve. “We should do more. There are Israeli companies in India already working in the field of water security. All coastal states have shown interest when we spoke to them. We have technology for irrigation, desalination, reuse of water and others.”
Currently, the volume of tourists between the two countries is around 40,000 a year. “India has a lot to offer but we need to increase the amount of direct flights between the two countries. I request the government to encourage more flights between Tel Aviv and Mumbai/Bengaluru and other cities.”