15 Jan 2018 13:57 IST

’Will make things easier for Israeli cos to do biz in India’

Issues pertaining to processes, import duty, taxes and licensing have been bothering Israeli companies

India today assured Israeli firms to resolve their concerns and make things easier for them to do business here, a senior government official said.

The Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ramesh Abhishek, said that there are few issues pertaining to processes, import duty, taxes and licensing that have been bothering Israeli companies.

“I assure you to resolve all problems and make things easier and better for Israeli companies to do business in India,” he said here at the India-Israel Business Innovation forum meeting organised by CII.

The secretary said the issues were taken up with the ministries and departments concerned.

“We have been able to do few things in the last few months and many are in progress,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is here on a four-day visit. He is leading a high-level business delegation comprising 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies.

India received total FDI of $130 million from Israel during April 2000 to September 2017 period.

Speaking at the event, Ohad Cohen, Trade Commissioner, Ministry of economy, Israel, expressed hope that the visit of the prime minister would pave the way for the proposed free trade agreement between the countries.

The bilateral trade between the countries increased to $5 billion in 2016-17 from $4.91 billion in the previous fiscal.

During the function, a startup challenge was announced for budding entrepreneurs of India.

Startup accelerator MassChallenge Israel jointly with Deshpande Foundation and Nassocm India announced this challenge for Indian startups.

Under the challenge, up to 10 Indian start-ups will receive $5,000 each to access MassChallenge Israel’s industry-leading resources and focus on growing their businesses.

Further the selected Indian start-ups will join the other MassChallenge Israel 2018 finalists for the four-month equity free accelerator in Jerusalem where they will get $5,000 cash prize and opportunity to access in two US markets.

Besides, they would get four months free office space in Jerusalem and personalised mentorship.

IT firm Tech Mahindra also announced a strategic programme -- Tech M Next -- in Israel.

The programme is about accelerating growth strategy with startup collaboration. It will be rolled out in February with Tel Aviv as the nerve centre and it would engage 20 startups in first 12 months with its client base.

The focus areas for this programme will be cyber security, mobility and artificial intelligence. This announcement was made by Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani.

The IT company also exchanged a teaming agreement with Israel-based data protection expert ContextSpace Solutions.

Under the pact, both will launch a global privacy ecosystem -- MyData Shield, which is a cloud-based privacy protection service to help address security and personal data protection concerns globally.

Besides, eight MoUs were exchanged to increase economic cooperation between the two sides.

Three MoUs were signed between CII and Manufacturer’s Association of India, Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce and Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.

DIPP-supported Invest India exchanged MoU with Israel’s Foreign Investments and Industrial Cooperation.

Further, Tata Projects Ltd inked an MoU with Israel-based Water-Gen.