India and Israel could work together in water technologies. “We have to cooperate at the government and business levels on water,” said Orna Sagiv, Consul General, Consulate General of Israel, Mumbai.

Ms Sagiv was speaking on the topic “20 years of the Israel-India link” organised by the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) in the city on Tuesday.

She said that the country is number one in the world in technology for desalination plants (which is expensive). In Israel, 85 per cent of the water is reused. Other than water technology, it has expertise in agritechnology, which is related to food security and renewable energy.

The country is also rich in technology. In Haifa, the technology companies include Google, Intel, Microsoft, GE and IBM. In Tel Aviv, the companies present are Motorola, Cisco, Google, Check Point, SAP, Microsoft and Oracle. She said that mobile telephony technology was developed by Motorola Israel, voice over IP (VOIP) telephony was invented by Israeli founders of VocalTec, four Israelis developed ICQ while Check Point had worked on network firewall and VPN technology.

At present, half of the trade between India and Israel is in garments and precious stones. How to take it to the next stage is the next step. The trade crossed 5 billion US dollars in 2011.

Israel has a GDP of 214.2 billion dollar and a per capita GDP of 31,005 dollar. Its exports are 91.9 billion dollar and imports are 91 billion dollar, she said. Israel had 6 lakh people in 1948 when it gained independence and at that time, 65 per cent of its people were farmers. Today, it has a population of 78 lakh and 2.5 per cent of them are farmers.

Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are three qualities common to the people of Israel and India.

The country does not get rains. Half of it is desert. “We have no natural resources,” she said. The only natural resource available is salt. “God gave many lemons to Israel but the country has made some good lemonade,” she said.