The ‘Tech Triangle’ Between India, Israel and US
After Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel, a new trilateral partnership seems to be emerging between the two countries and the United States.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel in early July seems to have set the ball rolling for alliances beyond the political arena. Keen on tapping the potential in business ties between the three nations, 15 Indian-American business leaders travelled to Israel in June, keeping in view the Indian PM’s visit.
“Maybe we could envision an Israeli investor putting money into a company in India that sells to the US market through an office in Silicon Valley.”
MR Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley-based software executive and investor who was among the 15 delegates told The Jerusalem Post.
The delegates’ visit was organised by the Indiaspora organisation in conjunction with the American Jewish Committee to explore the idea of an India-Israel-US triangular partnership in security and technology.
Growing Indian economy has been attracting America’s attention, and with China rising as a superpower, the US needs India to disrupt Beijing’s progress. Indian-Americans are already a force to reckon with in the Silicon Valley, and an Indian-American co-founder or CEO is present in one out of every three start-ups, including Microsoft, Google and Adobe, Rangaswami pointed out.
In the recent years, Tel Aviv has come up as technology hub, with a growing start-ups culture and expertise in cybersecurity, among others sectors. Trade between India and Israel has boomed to almost $4.2 billion since 1992, as per Israel’s Economy Ministry. India is the biggest buyer of Israeli defence products.
India is “an almost infinite market” for Israel, Benjamin Grossman, partner and head of Indian legal practice at Tel Aviv-based APM and Company law firm, said. Israel is among the leading nations in the fields of innovation, water management and agriculture technologies, which are crucial areas for India’s development.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had even said during Modi’s visit, “I have a feeling that India and Israel are changing our world.”
Israel is important for America’s overall policy in the Middle East. American Senator Jesse Helms used to call Israel, “America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East.”
The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Fund has invested in almost 1,000 projects since 1977, and around $10 billion has been generated in indirect and direct revenue for the two countries.
“There is tremendous potential in the connection between Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Bangalore – more broadly, between Israel, India and the US, particularly in areas of innovation tech and entrepreneurship,” the Jerusalem Post quoted Arun Kumar, the chairman and CEO of KPMG in India, who also served in the Obama administration as assistant secretary of commerce for global markets, as saying.
The forging of the trilateral alliance is also aimed at improving the relations between the influential Jewish and Indian diaspora communities in a global scenario. The triad, if formed, will be between America, which is the ‘strongest’ democracy, India, which is considered the ‘largest’, and Israel, the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’, Zafar Bangash, the director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), points out.