Israel, on Monday, opened its office of Consulate General in Bangalore. Its first office is in Mumbai. With this, India becomes one of five countries where Israel has more than two diplomatic missions.
The Consulate in Bangalore, which will be located at the World Trade Centre for around a year, will cater to the people of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other southern states.
Speaking at the launch, Israeli Ambassador Alon Ushpiz said, “Israel’s presence in the technology capital of India comes naturally since Israel is also a hub for technology. We are also co-operating with the state in other fields like agriculture.” According to Ushpiz, there will be three Centres for Excellence (CoE) for agriculture which will be opened soon in the state. Located in Kolar, Bagalkot and Belgaum, these centres will conduct research on farming methods for vegetables, mangoes and pomegranates.
“The CoE will incorporate ideas from both governments, private sector and of course, the farmers,” said Menachem Kanafi, Consul General.
The Counsulate will also explore avenues to promote investment in water management, renewable energy, information technology and biotechnology.
“Bangalore is a powerhouse of India. It is the Silicon Valley of the country. Israel is also like the Silicon Valley of the world. Each of us can profit from one another,” Kanafi added.
Tourism will also be a major focus for the Consulate in Bangalore. With close to 50,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel and around 35000 Israeli’s visiting India, the diplomatic mission will deal with people travelling to the southern region.
Located in the World Trade Centre temporarily, the embassy, however, will soon move to a different location.
This might be due to security concerns raised about housing a diplomatic mission in a place where there are many visitors, sources said.