"India, Israel Share Incredibly Good Chemistry": Ex Israel Envoy And Haifa Port Chief

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  • Published On: May 05, 2023
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India and Israel share many similarities in their culture and how their citizens form family and friendship bonds, which ultimately helps the two nations in forming a good chemistry that is manifested in strategic ties too, says Dr Ron Malka, the former Israeli Ambassador to India and executive chairman of Adani Group's Haifa Port. 

"I learnt so much from India. When I came to India, I didn't really know or understand a lot about the country. India is incredible. What I learnt is a different approach to life in India. Acceptance, more understanding, tolerance. Israelis have so much to learn from India. I found that the emotional structure of the people of India is so similar to ours," Dr Malka said in a conversation with the Adani Group's Sudipta Bhattacharya. 

"And for the first time I realised why there is such a good chemistry between Israelis and Indians. And I understood the same family values, the same friendship values are the foundations of this very successful relationship," said Dr Malka, who is starting on his new role as the Executive Chairman of Haifa Port, the largest of Israel's three major international seaports. 

"India and Israel fought Covid with such a good collaboration. Israel's research body worked with the Indian DRDO to make a rapid test kit. In just nine days, we tested 25,000 Covid patients. And the world was looking at us, asking 'how did they do that?' No other two nations can collaborate in such a good manner. I really understood that there are people here who have accepted us, love us, so many similarities between us," Dr Malka said.

The Adani Group in January this year acquired the Haifa port and vowed to transform the skyline of the Mediterranean city as part of its decision to invest more in Israel, including opening an artificial intelligence lab in Tel Aviv.  

"I am honoured and privileged to be part of the Adani Group. I am flattered. I think all the Israeli public is flattered when the Adani Group, such a great group, leading in many aspects, came to Israel to invest in our infrastructure. It is very warming for us. It is a big reflection of what is happening between India and Israel," Dr Malka said.  

"Adani is a leading company in India. For us, Adani coming to bid for the Haifa Port, which is a strategic asset of Israel, and India being a strategic partner, is a great thing. This has to be successful story. I hope more joint ventures and more collaborations will come," he added. 

In January, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the Haifa port deal with the Adani Group as an "enormous milestone", saying it will significantly improve connectivity between the two countries in many ways.  

Dr Malka has served as Director General of Israel's Ministry of Economy and Industry from July 2021 to August 2022. Earlier, from 2018 to 2021, he was Israel's Ambassador to India and Sri Lanka, during a particularly challenging period - the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Malka was the founding Dean of the School of Capital Markets and Banking at the College of Law and Business, in Ramat Gan. He holds a BA degree in Economics and Business Administration, an MBA degree and a PhD in Economics. Dr Malka retired from the Israel Defence Forces in 2007 with the rank of full colonel after 25 years of service.

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