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Sunday, 23 September 2012





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'AgroTech 2012' - promoting business between Sri Lanka and Israel

Due to the necessity and high demand unforeseen in the agriculture and livestock sector, the Israel Business Development Office in Sri Lanka organised a series of sessions titled "AgroTech 2012".

The head table at AgroTech 2012

The AgroTech 2012 combined with technical sessions followed by business-to-business meetings which facilitated them to have a proper understanding of the technical as well as trade support that can be taken from the IBDO.

"In order to help promote business and trade relations between Sri Lanka and Israel, we opened the Israel Business Development Office (IBDO) in Sri Lanka last May, and this is our first activity in the framework of IBDO with the partnership of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

The IBDC in Colombo is the commercial arm of the Embassy of Israel in New Delhi and through this centre our main intention is to do the basic match making of businesses between the two countries and facilitate with relevant information the same," said the Minister - Deputy Chief of Mission Israel, Yahel Vilan talking to the Sunday Observer.

The event was held at Hilton Colombo last week.

"This year in May Sri Lanka Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardhana visited Israel and signed a MoU with the Israel government in terms of promoting agriculture business and technology between the two countries. The outcome of it was our first AgroTech 2012 get-together last week which could light up hopes of the agricultural trade between the two countries," Minister Yahel said.

"Identifying agriculture as one of the obvious fields for this corporation in both countries, through the AgroTech 2012 we could facilitate for the government organisations as well as private organisations in the country that are already in the field of agriculture to make the awareness of the agricultural technologies which are pretty much common in Israel. In Sri Lanka yet we don't have an Israel embassy but we do coordinate everything from New Delhi.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena receives a plaque from Yahel Vilan.

That's another one good reason we wanted to establish the Israel Business Development Centre in Sri Lanka and I think it may open a new avenue for the business organisations to have a direct coordination with Israel business communities," he said.

The IBDO commenced its business operation in Sri Lanka on the May 3, 2012. Within a period of three months the IBDO has created an impact amongst the business circle. Most leading agriculture and livestock sector organisations in Sri Lanka participated at the AgroTech 2012 event, while a panel of prominent speakers and business delegation from Israel also took part in the event in Colombo.

The forum aimed to strengthen the appeal of those who are involved in the agriculture and livestock sectors. The AgroTech 2012 created a platform for the organisations and entrepreneurs to share knowledge.

Deputy Chief of Mission, Israel Embassy, Yahel Vilan

"Out of many business fields we identified agriculture as one of the key industries in Sri Lanka which it needs to develop further as one good industry. So far we received positive feedback from the Sri Lankan government as well as from the business communities. Therefore, we hope to bring more Israel companies who are in the field of agriculture to promote the business in Sri Lanka and we hope it would be a great opportunity for both countries in terms of expanding the trade and sharing technologies.

On the forum there were so many pros and cons raised about the Sri Lanka agriculture which is quite interesting. We hope these discussions may help share the knowledge and broaden the existing idea that we as outsiders have about the Sri

Lankan agriculture. Therefore, we welcome everyone irrespective of the size of the business and who didn't get the opportunity to participate in the event but also in the trade of agriculture, to get the assistance from the IBDO situated in Colombo completely dedicated to facilitate Sri Lankan agriculture traders. We don't believe that we can do miracles in agriculture but we selected Sri Lanka to promote agricultural business, knowing the capacity and the current status of the business. Therefore, we never underestimate the traditional agricultural methods that Sri Lankan farmers are using at the moment to increase the harvest but to introduce our technological knowledge too where they can even increase production.

We never think Sri Lankan agriculture is far behind compared to Israel. We are here to bridge the one last mile in terms of the technology which Israel uses in agriculture at the moment," Minister said.

"Through AgroTech 2012 we could provide a great opportunity for budding professionals to network with companies in Israel and also enable them to seek assistance from the Business Development Office for future needs. Since agriculture and livestock are a vast area, professionals in this field rarely get the opportunity to be involved in the complete process involving agriculture and livestock. The industry involves diverse modes hence it is essential for each segment to team up for a progressive business environment," he said.



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