Israel’s third consulate in India — the other two being in New Delhi and Mumbai — was inaugurated here on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, which also marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of Israel, Israel’s Ambassador to India Alon Ushpiz said that only three other countries in the world have more than three Israeli missions. This, he said, indicated the extent to which his country values ties with India.

Mr. Ushpiz said that common interests in the fields of water conservation, new able energy, IT and biotechnology, provided the basis for cooperation between the two countries. Both Israel and India had a large number of small and medium businesses, which are the source of innovation, he said.

Menahem Kanafi, Israeli Consul-General in Bangalore, pointed out that the three centres of excellence for advanced technology in agriculture, at Kolar, Bagalkot and Belgaum, are developing technologies that are adapted to Indian conditions. The work at these two centres is part of the Indo-Israeli cooperation agreement in the field of agriculture, he said.

Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath said that more than 35,000 Israeli tourists travelled to India every year. Israel’s prowess in hi-tech is illustrated by the fact that the country has produced 10 Nobel laureates.

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