Israel to enhance role in Make in India: Envoy

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Israel is set to play an important role in the Make in India mission of making the country a manufacturing powerhouse. Days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj returned from Tel Aviv, Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon stuck an upbeat note on joint collaboration under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. “It brings down production costs. It brings down developments costs. And it leaves you with more advanced capabilities than what you could have had by going alone,” said the Israeli envoy at The Defence  ‘Make in India’ summit in New Delhi on January 21.

“I have no doubt in my mind that the national security interests of each of us, respectfully, have been benefitting from our many years of unique cooperation, and they continue to do so, as we adapt ourselves to changing realities, battlefields, challenges, policies, including, of course, Make in India, priorities and needs.”

In the backdrop of terrorism growing worldwide, it has become necessary for India and Israel to partner in defence and security. Underlining the security dimension of the burgeoning India-Israel relationship, the envoy stressed on “three basic foundations: Shared Values, Joint Interests and Common Challenges.” “Most relevant today is our similar security and defense challenges, including the global and local war on terror. This partnership with India is not just another option, it is almost a necessity today,” said the envoy.

India-Israel relations have moved onto a higher trajectory under the Modi government in India. The high level visits by President Pranab Mukherjee in October 2015 and External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Israel in January this year has imparted a fresh traction to the relationship.  The two visits have laid the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anticipated visit to Israel in the near future.  

During Mrs Swaraj’s visit to Israel, the two sides had agreed to give more traction to their defence partnership through Make in India joint-production ventures, transfer of technologies and joint research and development.

The envoy lauded the Indian government’s initiative to strengthen manufacturing in the defence sector. “There are already a number of examples of successful joints initiatives between Israel and India in the fields of defence. LRSAM/Barak 8 is only one of them. We should strive to develop even further this unique partnership in Defence,” Mr Carmon said.

Israel is the third largest supplier of military hardware to India. India is Israel’s largest buyer of weapons.

 With the rise of the Islamic State and growing volatility in West Asia, the two sides had discussed ways to step up counter-terror cooperation through enhanced intelligence-training, training and bolstering of counter-terror infrastructure.

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