In the past several years, Jerusalem and New Delhi have established ever warmer ties, as decades of frosty relations spurred by pro-Palestinian “anti-imperialist” hostility gave way to a natural affinity between the countries. The Abraham Accords have further helped Indo-Israeli relations, giving rise to the formation last year of the I2U2 group, consisting of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S. Gedaliah Afterman and Narayanappa Janardhan examine the opportunities for greater strategic, and above all economic, cooperation:
A combination of Emirati capital, Israeli technology, and the Indian market in various sectors could yield win-win-win results. It is in this spirit that the International Federation of Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce initiated a partnership in 2021 wherein an Israeli company—Eccopia—produced innovative water-free robotic solar-cleaning technology in India for a project in the UAE. Confident in replicating such partnerships in other sectors, the three countries estimate the innovation and international business potential of their cooperation at $110 billion by 2030.
India’s expertise and its large and growing economy complement Israel’s R&D and innovation capabilities, providing an excellent opportunity for joint advancement in R&D and innovation. Such collaboration could create additional opportunities for the two countries to extend their partnership to other countries in the region, with a particular focus on water management, counterterrorism, and emerging technologies.
Expanding engagement between the two countries’ tech start-up ecosystems should also be a priority. India has seen the establishment of 46 unicorns [i.e., startups valued at $1 billion or more], in 2021 alone, with over $42 billion raised by its startups. Similarly, Israel has seen the rise of 33 unicorns with $25 billion flowing in to support them. By joining forces, both start-up ecosystems can make significant gains. Adding the UAE to the mix could create a plethora of opportunities.