Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Israel, the first state visit from India, Israel’s government plans to initiate a number of measures aimed at strengthening Israeli-Indian relations, diplomatically, economically, culturally and academically.

Netanyahu with Prime Minister Modi

Netanyahu with Prime Minister Modi Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon, GPO/Channel 2 News

Ahead of India prime minister’s historic visit to Israel next week, the Israeli government is expected to approve on Sunday a number of measures to strengthen diplomatic relations between Israel and India. Among the collaborations on the agenda are: Expansion of Israeli export vessels to India, academic and technological projects, encouragement of investments and tourism, and even filming an authentic Bollywood film in Israel.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Israel on July 5 to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In anticipation of this rare and extraordinary visit, cabinet members are expected to approve the decision to further expand ties between the Israeli and Indian economies.

The decision for such measures was formulated by a broad inter-ministerial committee that included most of the Israeli government’s ministries and other bodies. In addition, the government is also expected to approve the establishment of a 140 million NIS joint fund to encourage cooperation between Israeli and Indian corporations. Furthermore, a large budget will be allocated for the expansion of Israeli export activity to India.

In the areas of innovation, a joint project for agricultural and water technologies will be initiated between the two states, with the help and support of the World Bank. Cooperation in the fields of academia, cyber and space will also be expanded.

The government will also approve measures to increase cultural exchanges between the two countries and take significant steps to increase the number of Indian tourists in Israel within the next four years. An unusual measure that will be discussed will be an attempt to bring Bollywood, India’s notorious film industry, to film in Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said ahead of Modi’s visit to Israel: “Relations between Israel and India have been growing in recent years in an unprecedented way. India’s economy is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world. We have similar challenges on many levels. The visit is another significant step in strengthening our joint work and the strategic partnership between our two countries.”