The three-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel from July 4 is set to be hugely beneficial for both countries, with issues like cyber-security, defence deals and business investments on the agenda for discussion.
India has already signed a $630-million deal with Israel for a missile defence system for Indian Navy. More such deals are expected to be signed, or at least finalised, when Modi is welcomed by his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, the Israeli prime minister himself has hinted that cyber-security will be on the agenda when Modi comes visiting. With India having unveiled a blueprint for a $1-trillion digital economy, and struggling to plug the leaks from the Aadhaar database, cyber-security will definitely be on Modi's mind as well.
'One of the most important PMs in the world'
Netanyahu was recently speaking at the Cyber Week 2017 conference in Tel Aviv University when he said: "Once it was a disadvantage to say that you are from Israel. Today when you talk about cyber or advanced technology, it is an advantage to say we are an Israeli company. The whole world wants us. The whole world is coming here."
He then went on to add: "For example, there is going to be a visit of Prime Minister of India, one of the most important prime ministers of the world, with the third-largest economy in the world growing very fast. He wants close cooperation with Israel in many fields — water, agriculture, health and also in cyber. And he has a good reason to do so."
Possible defence deals
India is currently on a buying spree in order to modernise its armed forces. That spree may be extended to Israel as will, with the finalising of the purchase of 8,000 Spike anti-tank missiles from Rafael Advanced Defence Systems in a deal valued at $500 million.
Israel Aerospace Industries has already signed a missile deal with India valued at almost $2 billion. More negotiations between Modi and the company may take place when he visits Israel.
India is a fast-growing economy — one of the fastest in the world. And Israel will definitely eye a slice in that pie, given that the Usb is fast becoming unpalatable as an investment destination under current President Donald Trump.
An opinion piece in Haaretz — Israel's longest-running newspaper currently in print — states: "According to a recent World Bank report, the Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.2 percent by 2018 and to an unprecedented 7.5 percent by 2019. Israel, in its turn, is expected to benefit from accelerated industry, jobs and, of course, a strategic alliance."