25 Years Of Bilateral Trade
There has been a steady rise in bilateral trade and economic relations every since diplomatic relations between India and Israel were established in 1992. From USD 200 million in 1992 (comprising primarily of diamonds), merchandise trade diversified and reached USD 4.16 billion (excluding defence) in 2016
Trade in diamonds constitutes almost 54% of the bilateral trade. Nearly 40 diamond dealers have opened offices at the Israeli Diamond Exchange in Ramat-Gan. Some of these dealers have been active in Israeli for nearly 30-40 years. Though bilateral trade is dominated mainly by diamonds and chemicals, recent years have witnessed an increase in trade in areas such as electronic machinery and high tech products; communications systems; medical equipment etc.
According to figures released by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, India, FDI inflows from Israel to India from April 2000 to September 2016 totaled USD 107.6 million. These figures may not accurately reflect FDI from Israel, as many Israeli companies invest in India through the US, Europe and Singapore.
There are over 300 Israeli investments in India mainly in high-tech and agriculture. These investments are varied in nature - manufacturing plants; R&D centers; subsidiaries etc. There is a growing preference for Israeli companies in sectors such as water technologies, homeland security and real estate in addition to traditional areas such as agriculture, chemicals etc. Teva Pharmaceuticals, IDE, Netafim are among the leading Israeli companies which have notable investments in India.
Indian companies are marking their presence in Israel through mergers and acquisitions and by opening branch offices. TCS started operations in Israel in 2005 and State Bank of India opened a branch in Tel Aviv in 2007. In 2012, Jain Irrigation fully acquired Naan-Dan, an Israeli irrigation equipment manufacturing company. Sun Pharma has 66.7% stake in Israel’s Taro Pharmaceutical Industries. Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Wipro Infrastructure Engineering have made notable acquisitions/investments in 2015 and 2016.
Indian majors are also leveraging on the Israeli innovation eco-system. In 2013, Tata Group invested USD5 million in the Momentum Fund of Ramot, Technology Transfer Center at Tel Aviv University. In 2016, Tatas joined hands with several leading global players to set up a new technology incubator, called i3 Equity Partners (i3), which focuses on developing next-generation IoT technologies. Wipro has invested in TLV Partners, an Israel-based venture capital firm. Sun Pharma has collaborations with Weizmann Institute of Science and Technion Institute of Technology.