Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to arrive in New Delhi on Sunday on a week-long visit, making him the second Israeli head of the government to visit India since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s 2003 visit. He will be leading a large business delegation and sign a series of bilateral agreements ranging from agriculture to cyber security.

The visiting Israeli leader will spend a day in Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat. This is being regarded as a rare distinction. So far, Prime Minister Modi accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his state, where he served as the Chief Minister between 2001 and 2014.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is “going to get a grand welcome,” Gujarat state’s present Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will also be traveling to Mumbai to meet representatives from the Indian film industry and promote Israel as a potential location for shooting Bollywood movies.

“The Prime Minister’s visit to India is the grand finale to the celebrations of 25 years of Growing Partnership between India and Israel,” Israel’s envoy to India, Ambassador Daniel Carmon said. “The visit will focus on the progress made between India and Israel since Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Israel last summer, and on shaping the next 25 years of relations between our countries and our peoples.”

Ahead of the visit, the Israeli embassy in New Delhi released via email a press statement detailing the highlights of the six-day trip:

During his visit, the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] will hold meetings in New Delhi with President Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, and Minister of External Affairs Swaraj. In addition, the Prime Minister will give an inaugural speech at the Raisina Dialogue and meet with the Indo-Israeli CEO forum in Delhi.

In Gujarat, the two Prime Ministers will visit the Center of Excellence in Vadrad and inaugurate a Center of Excellence for date palms in Bhuj via video conference. They will also visit the iCreate innovation campus and center.

In Mumbai, the Prime Minister will meet with Jewish community leaders and select members of the Indian business community. The Prime Minister will reach out to Bollywood in an exclusive “Shalom Bollywood” event.

Prime Minister Netanyahu “will visit the country along with 130 businessmen for trade talks,” Indian broadcaster NDTV reported, quoting a senior Israeli official.

“The delegation is comprised of several small and medium non-defence sector companies as well,” Benjamin Grossman, a leading Israeli corporate lawyer and member of the visiting prime ministerial delegation, told Legal Insurrection. “A “triangle” event — featuring Indian, US and Israeli companies — will also be held. About nine memoranda of understanding (MoU) will be signed, in fields of water, healthcare, culture, aviation, information technology to cyber security.”

“If the bilateral trade is extended to all relevant sectors, and the market becomes more accessible to companies from the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sectors in both countries, the volume of trade can reach at least $10 billion within the next few years,” Grossman added, pointing to the current bilateral trade volume pegged at around $4.5 billion.

Israeli Prime Minister’s visit comes almost six month after Prime Minister Modi’s historic trip to Israel, first ever by a sitting Indian head of the government. The bilateral relations were being considered as at an all-time high before India voted in favor of the UN resolution condemning the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. India’s move has certainly soured the mood ahead of the landmark visit.

The timing of the visit offers both leaders much-needed opportunity to restore the diminished trust and re-calibrate their bilateral ties.

[Cover image via YouTube]