Modi addresses first India-Israel CEOs meet

Tel Aviv


A new chapter has opened in Indo-Israeli relations driven by the desire to improve the lives of both peoples, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, addressing the first joint meeting of CEOs, who, among themselves, signed MoUs worth $5 billion on the sidelines of Modi's Israel visit.

"New chapter has been opened in India-Israel relations. The driving force is opportunities for betterment of lives of people," Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay tweeted, citing Modi's address to chief executives from both countries. 

Modi arrived here on Tuesday in the first ever Indian Prime Ministerial visit to Israel.

"PM says CEOs and talents of India and Israel together sow seeds of miracles for betterment of world," the spokesperson said in a separate tweet. 

Baglay said that Indian and Israeli CEOs signed MoUs worth over $5 billion on the sidelines of the visit.

The CEOs Forum set a target of increasing bilateral trade from the current $5 billion to $20 billion within five years. The Forum also set up six joint committees covering the start-up, pharma and life sciences, homeland security, agriculture, energy and water sectors.

Modi informed Israel's corporate leaders about India having resolved many regulatory and policy issues that were being faced by businesses and companies.

"GST by far biggest business and economic reform of India. Now, we're moving towards modern tax regime, which is transparent, stable and predictable," Baglay tweeted Modi as saying. 

Modi lauded Israel's reputation as a "start-up nation."

"It has a unique sense and ecosystem of innovation and incubation. Credit must go to the Israeli entrepreneurs."

"There is lot of potential for India-Israel partnership in Start-up India. I am happy that India-Israel start-up bridge has been formally launched today," he added. 

Modi, along with Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday launched an India-Israel Innovation Bridge designed to link start-up companies and innovators of the two countries.

The bridge is aimed at benefitting Israeli companies and India in areas like agricultural technology, water technology and digital healthcare.

Indian industrialists at the meeting included Zydus Cadila Chairman Pankaj Patel, Ambuja Neotia Group Chairman Harshavardhan Neotia, Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani, L&T Director Jayant D. Patil, Invest India MD Deepak Bagla and Sun Pharma MD Dilip Shanghvi. 

Among Israeli companies present at the meeting were Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Mekorot Water Company, Check Point Software, Israel Electric Company, Aqwiss, Israel Chemicals Ltd, RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries. - IANS