Israel assures continued help

Scope in agriculture, IT, travel, tourism:

Israel assures continued help

Outgoing Israeli ambassador to New Delhi with accreditation to
Colombo, Mark Sofer said yesterday that Israel would continue to impart
assistance to Sri Lanka in high technology which would help the country
in the post war rehabilitation.

There is tremendous scope in the areas of agriculture, information
technology, travel and tourism and Israel is one of the foremost
countries to have the right technology for Sri Lanka in its effort in
the post rehabilitation phase, he told a selected group of senior
journalists in what was his farewell interview after a four-year stint
in Sri Lanka. One of the key areas in bilateral relations that Israel
and Sri Lanka could develop would be in the arena of private-public
sector partnerships in agriculture. Israel would be assisting Sri Lanka
to enhance milk yields with the requisite technology with the already
existing infrastructure.

“What we are advocating is not only Government to Government deals
but also through the private sector deals between the two countries,”
Sofer said.

“We also have over 70 scholarships for Sri Lanka in the arenas of
women’s empowerment agriculture, business development and others and we
give a large number of scholarships to Sri Lanka,” he said.

“I have been in Sri Lanka at a time when bombs were exploding and we
were there when Sri Lanka wanted us the most. We will also be there for
Sri Lanka at a time when it is recovering from 30 years of conflict,” he
said, adding that Sri Lanka and Israel knew terrorism and its effect
very well.

Sofer described mango and potatoe cultivation as one of the areas
that Sri Lanka could develop which would be not only for the domestic
but export market as well.

One of the major areas, he said, for which scope would be there was
tourism, reminding that there were a large number of Israeli companies
which were building resorts and spas in this country.

“In what was to be a major boost to Sri Lanka’s tourism, Sri Lanka
has been promoted as the most important destination for Israelis to
visit. Every plane to Colombo has some Israeli tourist coming here,” he
said and confidently predicted that there would be a notable growth in
that in the future.


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