The Commerce & Industry Ministry is concerned that an escalation in the on-going war between Israel and Palestine-based terror group Hamas could have an impact on trade.

“We need to wait and watch because developments are happening on a daily basis. We are concerned that there should be no escalation of the conflict because then it would have an impact,” Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said at a briefing.

Shipping costs and insurance premium for consignments are the first to get hit in such situations, but the impact can be assessed only when data come in, another official said.

India’s goods exports to Israel were estimated at $8.4 billion in 2022-23 and mostly included diesel, cut and unpolished diamonds, electronics and telecom components. Its imports from Israel amounted to $2.3 billion last fiscal. The two countries are also negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA).


On the proposed India-UK  FTA, Barthwal said negotiations are at an advanced stage, and both sides are working to iron out differences on the remaining issues.

“These negotiations are in the advance stage. These are going on, and we are ironing out the differences. We should wait till these negotiations are over because the 13th round is going on,” he said when asked whether the deal would get sealed during UK PM Rishi Sunak’s scheduled visit this month-end.