Against the backdrop of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) being finalised between India and Israel as they celebrate 20 years of diplomatic relations, the two nations have signed pacts to boost the textiles business.

India’s Ministry of Textile and Israel’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labour signed an MoU on the sidelines of the first India International Apparel and Textile Trade show here to expand business in areas such as cotton, jute, silk handlooms, clothing and fashion industries.

Around 30 leading Indian manufacturers of apparels and textile have put up the show here to tap the Israeli market.

Indian Textiles Secretary Kiran Dhingra and the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labour Sharon Kedmi signed the MoU that includes exchanging delegations to take this initiative forward.

India’s Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) also signed a separate MoU with the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI). AEPC Chairman A. Sakthivel expressed the hope of a major leap in the volume of trade.

AEPC and IEICI will be working towards facilitating linkages of appropriate organizations that can contribute in furthering apparel trade. Chairman AEPC was hopeful that the MoU will go a long way in knowledge transfer for mutual enhancement of trade. 

“This is just the beginning. Next year we will see even more enthusiasm because once FTA is signed between the two countries it will give a big boost to bilateral trade,” Sakthivel told PTI.

AEPC and IEICI outlined cooperation in the field of clothing and fashion industries, innovative technologies and possible solutions for the textile Industry as focus areas to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations.

Meanwhile, Dhingra said the initiative would further deepen ties between the two countries and she “would like to see a lot more Israelis wearing Indian clothes’’.

She added, “I am happy to be here when India and Israel commemorate 20 years of diplomatic ties. We know the strength you have in textiles and the very high value-added end of it that you work upon. India has strength along the entire value chain. You name the fibre and we seem to be able to grow it.”

“What we have been able to bring to Israel is not a very large share of either your market or our capability of production. And we would like to be able to deepen that relationship and would like to see a lot more Israelis wearing Indian clothes.”

On the occasion a high level delegation has also been mounted with the aim of exploring areas of cooperation between Israel and Indian in the areas of Textiles and Apparel. Taking this mission forward, Chairman AEPC signed a MoU with Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute today. Mr Ramzi Gabby, Chairman of IEICI signed on behalf of the Institute.