By Charumini de Silva
Pic by Dumindu Wanigasekara
Trade oriented Israel is willing to share knowledge, technology and experience to uplift the agriculture industry in Sri Lanka, Embassy of Israel Deputy Chief of Mission Yahel Vilan said.
He made these remark at the AgroTech 2012 business forum jointly organized by the Embassy of Israel Business Development Office (IBDO) in Sri Lanka held at the Hilton Colombo Residence, yesterday.
“It is important that G to G (Government to Government) discussions and business matchmaking events should take place to improve the trade relations between the two countries,” he added.
Israel Commercial Attaché Yonatan Ben-Zaken making a presentation on ‘Promoting Israel’s Trade Globally’ said: “The proportion of population between Israel and Sri Lanka is similar. Around 60% of the land in Israel is desert. However, with the adaptation of technology and continuous innovations we have been able to maximize agricultural production. Israel is a powerhouse of technology and innovation; and I think the time is right for Sri Lanka to maximize and start developing new production capacities to expand the export market.”
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Manager - Trade and Investment Promotion Selvanathan Anojan said there have been quite a number of companies that showed interest in doing two way business in the sectors of herbal medicine, pharmaceutical, bio medicine, medical equipments, agriculture and ICT.
“Within a short span of time IBDO was capable of getting the attention of a number of investors that would like to do two-way business and currently some of the agreements are being drafted to commence business soon. Already some of the Israel investors are looking for the land availability in Sri Lanka to have collaborative business in Sri Lanka,” he said.
Continuing, Anojan said, “IBDO as the direct investment arm of Israel Embassy is committed to bring in the best of Israel and Sri Lankan companies together for better investment opportunities. One of the important facts that we hope is that the Government will seriously look at the necessity of amending and implementing some of the policies for the betterment of economic activities.
“A delegation led by the Embassy of Israel Deputy Chief of Mission Yahel Vilan will meet some of the top government officials and ministers to have better understanding and improve trade relations between the two countries,” he noted.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said, “It is the right time that Sri Lankan business community get together to boost the agriculture industry to the next level.
“Political stability and peace are the two most important factors for a stabilized economy. We are immediately after an election in the country; the people of this country have chosen the peace that prevails in the country. This indicates that the dividends of peace have positively affected the day-to-day economic activities of the people, where they have made their choices to continue with peace,” the minister said.
Abeywardena further said that during the visit to AgroTech 2012 exhibition held in Israel, he saw the advancements in their technology and how the companies have custom-made and implemented it to strengthen the agriculture industry in Israel.