Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joke during an exchange of co-operation agreements ceremony in Jerusalem July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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In the months leading up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to Israel, India signed two arms deals, spending $2.6 billion on Israeli missile defense systems. Yet since Modi arrived Tuesday, military ties – for decades the secretive bedrock of India-Israel relations – have taken a back seat. Under Arab pressure, India kept its distance from Israel for decades but is now seeing advantages in a complementary relationship with Israel.Looking to reorient Israel's economy toward Asia, Netanyahu hopes more deals will follow, setting a goal of increasing exports to India by 25 percent in the next four years.In many respects export-dependent Israel and India, which is focused on supplying its huge population, are complementary.India wants to strengthen its manufacturing base and is looking to do so with technologies coming from Israel.Israel's foreign direct investment in India totals only $100 million.Israel's Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said it is becoming easier to do business between the two countries, even if there may remain some differences in practice.
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