BOI Chairman hosts Israeli biz delegation


A Business delegation from Israel consisting of 18 entrepreneurs was hosted by the BOI recently.

Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka briefed the delegation on investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and on the country’s improved business climate. The Israeli delegation was led by Ms. Anat Bernstein – Reich, Vice President of the Israel –Asia Chamber of Commerce and Chairperson of the Israel-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce.

The Sri Lanka side included Chairman Dr Lakshman Jayaweera, Duminda Ariyasinghe, Executive Director (Investment), Dilip Samarasinghe, Director (Media & Publicity),Ms. Renuka Weerakone, Director (Secretariat), Ms.Vijitha Mathuratne, Senior Deputy Director (Investment) and Ms. Chandra Kiriella, Deputy Director (Marketing), EDB.

The Israeli Companies were drawn from a wide spectrum of activities which included the following sections:Real estate, residential, commerce, innovation, dairy products, insurance, legal services,transportation, aviation maritime services, real estate, tourism, vegetables and herbs cultivation, finance, agriculture, water solutions, telecommunication, cosmetics and food value chain.

The delegation expressed their interest in investing in the island in a number of key sectors. The Israelis entrepreneurs also expressed interest in opportunities to invest in the country in order to engage in trade with third countries, with which Sri Lanka has entered into Free Trade Agreements. Currently Sri Lanka has FTAs with India and Pakistan.

In addition, since Sri Lanka has recently introduced entrepot trade, which will allow the storage of goods at the Hambantota Port, Israeli companies were studying the possibility of using that facility for re-export to other markets.

One area of interestwas re-exporting goodsafter packaging in Sri Lanka. One such company is Schneor Seed who are involved in the large scale production and supply of tomato seeds which are supplied to the East Asian Market. These seeds are used for the production of tomatoes used in fast foods, such as Hamburgers.

Currently, there are a small number of Israel Companies that invest in Sri Lanka under the BOI. These include Diamond Cutters Ltd who has been operating for more than a decadein the island.

Diamond Cutters Ltd is engaged in the cutting and polishing of diamonds in Sri Lanka. The gems are then re-exported to Israel. Some of these diamonds are used by the high end wristwatch industry. The company employs 900 workers in Sri Lanka and has contributed to making Sri Lanka acentre for the diamond industry.

Another company exports tuna fish from Sri Lanka to Israel and to Europe. The company is also promoting tourism from Israel and Russia to Sri Lanka.

Yet another area which the delegation expressed interest in was breeding of livestock, particularlypoultry farming.

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