India-Israel trade can go up to $15 bn, says envoy

June 20th, 2012 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 20 (IANS) Bilateral trade between India and Israel can go up to $15 billion after the two countries are expected to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) by the year end, an Israeli envoy has said.

“In 1992, the volume of trade between Israel and India was $180 million. Now, in 2011, it is about $5 billion. We are expecting the free trade agreement to be signed by the end of 2012 and then the volume of trade can go up to $10-15 billion,” Israel’s Ambassador Alon Ushpiz told reporters here Tuesday.

Describing the current relationship between India and Israel as a “chair with three legs”, Ushpiz said his country wanted to convert it to a “sofa with six legs” which was more “stable”.

He said Israel was interested in investing in sectors like advanced technology in water, particularly re-usage of sewage water and desalination of water.

“We are exploring opportunities to cooperate in West Bengal’s water and agricultural sectors,” he added.

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