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India, Israel to collaborate on urban renewal, water treatment

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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

As reported by IVC:

India and Israel are expected to sign an agreement on collaboration in the field of water treatment technologies in urban areas during the forthcoming visit of Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath

India and Israel are expected to sign an agreement on collaboration in the field of water treatment technologies in urban areas during the forthcoming visit of Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath.

With India and Israel commemorating 20 years of establishment of diplomatic relations, the new year has seen a flurry of activities and further diversification in areas of cooperation to include many new fields.

Earlier this year, Minister for External Affairs S M Krishna dubbed the two countries as “natural allies in all frontiers of sciences” during his visit to Israel.

The two sides are now set to sign a joint declaration for cooperation in the field of technologies for treatment and purification of water in India’s urban areas during Nath’s visit, officials here said.

India is looking for collaboration with Israel in such vital areas like urban renewal, solid waste management, drainage, desalination technology, recycle and re-use of waste water, technology for water use and metering, financial sustainability of urban water supply, sanitation and sewerage services, preparation of city master plans including efficient use of land, land economics, transport corridors.

Among other related areas, the two sides will also discuss possible cooperation in use of geographical information system for urban planning, heritage monuments and their conservation, housing for economically weaker sections of society including use of pre-fabricated technology, capacity building for urban planning, and mass rapid urban transport planning.

Nath is scheduled to visit Israel between February 12 and 14 on the invitation of Israel’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour, Shalom Simhon, and will also call upon Transport Minister Yisrael Katz and Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Uzi Landau during his three day visit.

The Indian mission will also be organising a business seminar in cooperation with Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute in which Nath and Landau are expected to participate.

Nath will be the second senior cabinet minister to visit Israel this year after Krishna. Landau will also be travelling to India later this month.

The two countries are also working on signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which Israel’s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said is likely to treble bilateral trade between the two countries.

Bilateral trade between India and Israel stood at a modest USD 200 million mark in 1992 when diplomatic relations were established between the two countries, but has made impressive gains during the last 20 years and is likely to hit USD 5 billion this year.