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Amidst Hindenburg row, Adani meets Israel PM; to set up AI lab in Tel Aviv, real estate in Haifa

Indian tycoon Gautam Adani's ports-to-energy conglomerate will set up an artificial intelligence lab in Tel Aviv as it looks to leverage on a USD 1.2 billion Haifa port deal to make more investments in Israel.

Amidst Hindenburg row, Adani meets Israel PM Netanyahu; to set up AI lab in Tel Aviv, real estate in Haifa snt
First Published Jan 31, 2023, 7:17 PM IST

To capitalise on a USD 1.2 billion contract for the Haifa port, Indian tycoon Gautam Adani's ports-to-energy business will open an artificial intelligence lab in Tel Aviv.

Adani, whose corporate empire was shaken by fraud claims made by US short-seller Hindenburg Research, spoke about investment potential with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the signing of the agreement to acquire Haifa Port in Israel. He did not mention the controversy that has already cost his group's equities over USD 70 billion.

Also read: L'affaire Hindenburg: Adani Group needs a course correction

Adani, 60, said his group would also develop real estate at the port to transform the Haifa skyline. "We have initiated several dozen technology relationships wherein we have offered the entire Adani portfolio of companies to be a giant sandbox for us to learn together," he said in his speech. 

"We are also in the process of setting up an Artificial Intelligence lab in Tel Aviv which will work in close collaboration with our new AI labs in India and US." 

The Adani group has formed numerous important alliances over the past six years with organisations including Elbit Systems, Israel Weapon Systems, and the Israel Innovation Authority.

In July of last year, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. won the Israeli government's tender to purchase the Haifa Port, a significant commercial hub on Israel's Mediterranean coast, for around USD 1.2 billion in collaboration with the local chemicals and logistics business Gadot.

"The acquisition of the Haifa port also comes with a significant amount of real estate. And I promise you that in the years to come we will transform the skyline we see around us," Adani, the founder and chairman of the group, said. 

"The Haifa of tomorrow - will look very different from the Haifa that you see today. With your support - we will deliver on this commitment and do our part to transform this city." 

Also read: Gautam Adani slips out of top 10 billionaires’ list, loses around $8 billion in net worth

He expressed confidence in transforming the entire port landscape. "We realise that there will be competition from others, but our confidence comes from our belief in the people of Israel and therefore our belief in the Israel Growth story."

"Our intention is to make the right set of investments that will not just make the Adani Gadot partnership proud but will make the whole of Israel proud," he said. 

In addition to collaborating with institutions like the University of Haifa to use the extensive technological know-how present in this city, he claimed that the Israeli spirit makes all the difference.

According to Adani, the connection between India and Israel began on September 23, 1918, when soldiers from the Indian cities of Mysore, Hyderabad, and Jodhpur fought here for Haifa's freedom.

"And earlier today, I had an opportunity to visit the cemetery where our soldiers were put to rest. It was a moving moment for me to reflect on the fact that the port we now share - is part of the same city - where soldiers from both our countries - fought side by side for the ultimate shared cause that we all call -- Freedom," he said. 

He went on to state that Israel has always motivated him. "You have rewritten the rules of what a country with a population of less than ten million can achieve. You have rewritten the rules by proving what a country with very few natural resources can achieve. And you have rewritten the rules by showcasing what a country with self-belief can achieve." 

Also read: Adani Group hits back at Hindenburg with 413-page response; calls them 'Madoffs of Manhattan'

The elasticity of Israel makes it the world's most resilient nation. "Your pace of innovation across multiple sectors amazes me. Your drive for innovation makes me wonder how we can learn from you. You have focused on sustainable growth far before the world was talking about sustainability," he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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