Business / Industry Sectors
"We see an upswing in business visitors from South India going to Israel"
18/08/2014
In an exclusive interview with Israel-India Business, Mr. Avi Friedman, Head – Economic & Trade Mission at the Consulate General of Israel in Bangalore speaks about the opening of it's third visa center, which will cater to business and tourist visas.

Mr. Avi Friedman was appointed Head – Economic & Trade Mission, Consulate General of Israel in Bangalore, about seven months ago. The office of the Consulate General in Bangalore has been around, in fact, for just little over a year, making India only the second country in the world – besides the United States – in which Israel has more than three diplomatic and trade offices. It has its Embassy in New Delhi and an office of the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai.

 

The Consulate General of Israel in Bangalore services the States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Seemandra and Telangana (formerly Andhra Pradesh) and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, thus providing these regions easier facilitation of business and tourist visas and direct access to Israeli representatives about information on Israel.

 

We are interviewing you at an important juncture – just recently the Consulate General of Israel in Bangalore started issuing visas to those interested in travelling to Israel. What has been the response?

 

"The response was congratulatory and jubilant in nature. This is a big change for those who had to submit their requests to Delhi or Mumbai earlier".

 

 What are the main reasons Israel chose Bangalore for opening a new visa application center? Do you foresee an upswing in business visitors going to Israel because of this?

 

"Israel opened the Consulate in Bangalore for economic and commercial reasons. The reason of choosing Bangalore is that the city is the biggest hub of IT in India. Issuing visas will be done by VSF, a private visa processing company. I foresee an upswing in business visitors going to Israel, but it will take time till we see a big change".

 

What sectors of business are you looking to tap on in the south of India?

 

"We are looking to tap in to the Information Technology, Water, Agriculture, Cyber Security and HLS sectors".

 

What has been your experience with Chambers of Commerce in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala? Are they showing interest in doing business with Israeli Industry?

 

"Until recently the CII and FICCI worked through their head offices in Delhi. We are trying to add more activity with the local offices of the chambers, and with FKCCI, FAPCCI, KCCI, and TCCI".

 

What steps is your office taking to make Israel an attractive destination for business and trade?

 

"We are taking business delegations to Israel and hosting delegations from Israel. Promoting trade by presenting the trade possibilities with Israel to various sectors, chambers and companies". 

 

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