At­trac­tive en­tre­pot

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

Sri Lanka’s Board of In­vest­ment hosted an Is­raeli busi­ness del­e­ga­tion led by Anat Bern­stein-Re­ich, Vice Pres­i­dent of the Is­rael-Asia Cham­ber of Com­merce and Chair­per­son of the Is­rael-Sri Lanka Cham­ber of Com­merce. The del­e­ga­tion ex­pressed in­ter­est in har­ness­ing Sri Lanka’s free trade agree­ments (FTAs) to carry out trade with other coun­tries in the Asian re­gion. Sri Lanka al­ready has two free trade agree­ments with In­dia and Pakistan while it is ex­pected that the coun­try would soon en­ter into a new free trade agree­ment with China. Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued by the Sri Lankan Board of In­vest­ment, Is­raeli com­pa­nies were study­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of us­ing the re­cently in­tro­duced en­tre­pot trade fa­cil­ity. An en­tre­pot is a trad­ing post from where mer­chan­dise can be im­ported and ex­ported with­out pay­ing im­port du­ties, of­ten at a profit. Such a fa­cil­ity would al­low Is­rael to stock up its goods at the Ham­ban­tota Port, for re-ex­port to other mar­kets.

A num­ber of Is­raeli com­pa­nies cur­rently op­er­ate in Sri Lanka. One of them is the Diamond Cut­ters Ltd., which has been op­er­at­ing for more than a decade on the is­land. The com­pany is en­gaged in cut­ting and polishing di­a­monds. The gems are then re-ex­ported to Is­rael. Some of the di­a­monds are used by the high­end wrist­watch in­dus­try. It cur­rently em­ploys 900 work­ers and has con­trib­uted to mak­ing Sri Lanka a cen­tre for the diamond in­dus­try.

Another com­pany ex­ports tuna fish from Sri Lanka to Is­rael and Europe. It also pro­motes tourism to Sri Lanka from Is­rael and Rus­sia. One area in which the Is­raeli del­e­ga­tion ex­pressed in­ter­est in was breed­ing of live­stock, par­tic­u­larly poul­try farm­ing.

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