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Lanka-Israel to expand bilateral trade

Daily News - May 4, 2012. "Sri Lanka and Israel are expected to further expand bilateral economic relations and trade in the following years which could see the total trade between the two nations rise from US $ 100 million to US $250 million plus within the next two years. Alon Ushpiz “Bilateral trade between the two countries rose from US $68 million three years back to US $100 million plus in 2011. If we do all the right things we can reach "

"US $250 million plus in a couple of years” ambassador of Israel based in New Delhi Alon Ushpiz said in an interview with the Daily News yesterday.

Speaking on the first ever bilateral consultations between the two nations which took place in Colombo on April 20, Ushpiz said the two sides had discussed ways and means of promoting bilateral relations and opportunities for further cooperation in various fields such as agriculture, tourism, trade and employment.

“This match between Israel and Sri Lanka is a match between skilled people when it comes to innovating and producing” he added commenting on the recent meeting.

Ushpiz said that the two countries had also agreed to raise interest among the private sector from both sides to have direct flights between Tel Aviv and Colombo.

On the subject of employment, the ambassador said that Sri Lankan migrant worker aspirants could expect more employment opportunities in Israel in the future.

A large number of Sri Lankans work in Israel at present mainly as Care Givers and in the Agricultural field as well.

The ambassador said that Israel authorities may look to offer jobs for Lankans in the construction field as well.

He also said that the Israeli government was very conscious of the labour rights and welfare of migrant workers on its soil and stressed that they mete out equal treatment to all workers irrespective of differences. The minimum wage of US $ 1,000 for all workers apply for both locals and foriegners alike, he added.

On the subject of tourism he said that Israeli’s find Sri lanka as an attractive destination and efforts to expand cooperation in the sector would be discussed in future meetings.

The ambassador also called for a higher level of mutual exposure between representatives of two nations.

He expressed confidence that the annual consultations will provide a solid platform to further strengthen their multifaceted relations and promote closer economic cooperation for mutual benefit.

Speaking on historic ties between the two nations ambassador Ushpiz said “Friendship with Sri Lanka is a long one and a long lasting one”."


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