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India, Israel favour stronger trade ties
Harinder Mishra

Union minister of state for commerce and industry Ashwani Kumar (left) with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the President House in Jerusalem
Union minister of state for commerce and industry Ashwani Kumar (left) with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the President House in Jerusalem on Monday. PTI photo

Jerusalem, August 6
India and Israel today said efforts should be made to fully utilise the potential for enhanced economic cooperation between the two countries, especially in the fields of solar energy and agriculture.

During a meeting with union minister of state for commerce and industry Ashwani Kumar here, Israeli President Shimon Peres also lauded India as "a unique example of a nation that has achieved high economic growth consistent with its cultural values".

The two leaders said efforts should be made to fully utilise the potential for enhanced economic cooperation. Solar energy, water technology, nanotechnology, agriculture, including organic farming, and medicine were outlined as some of the key sectors for increased Indo-Israeli cooperation.

"India has grown consistently with its commitment to democracy and cultural values. The rest of the world could take pride in the history of pluralism and tolerance in India," Peres, a Nobel peace laureate, said.

Israeli sources said Peres re-scheduled his programme to meet Kumar, which is a reflection of the importance that the veteran leader attaches to the growing Indo-Israel ties and his appreciation of all that India stands for.

Israeli deputy prime ministers Ellie Yishai and Shaul Mofaz also called upon the Indian minister.

"The common message of all these meetings is that Israel seeks a comprehensive partnership with India based on recognition and appreciation for India's role in shaping the new global order," Kumar said.

Yishai, also the minister for trade and industry, yesterday proposed a free trade agreement with India which, Kumar said, New Delhi would actively consider.

Kumar is visiting Israel with a high-level Ficci delegation, which is taking part in the Indo-Israel Joint Business Council meeting that also saw the participation of more than 100 leading Israeli businessmen. PTI

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