(JNS.org) India’s newly designated prime minister, Narendra Modi, has said he wants to "deepen and develop" ties with Israel, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"On Friday, I spoke with the prime minister-elect of India. There, too, there is a clear expression of the desire to deepen and develop economic ties with the state of Israel," Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday, according to Israel National News.
Modi is a pro-Hindu nationalist politician and the chief of the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party. He has also been chief minister in the western Indian province of Gujarat for 13 years.
The International Business Times reported that Modi has been interested in greater political and economic ties with Israel, and called him “Israel's best friend in South Asia.”
“Under Modi's leadership and encouragement, Israel has poured billions of dollars of investment into Gujarat. Officials from both Gujarat and Israel have visited each other over the past few years to deepen trade and economic links,” the newspaper wrote.
Additionally, 30 Indian companies are exhibiting in a special pavilion at the Tel Aviv MIXiii 2014 technology conference this week.
“Israel and India already do a lot of business in several areas, including agriculture and diamonds, with the latter accounting for about half the current $5 billion in trade between our countries," Vani Rao, deputy chief of mission in the Embassy of India, told the Times of Israel.