Tel Aviv, Dec 23 (PTI) State Bank of India is offering trade finance solutions and services to Israeli corporates to help them tap business potential arising out of recent Abraham accords leading to normalisation of ties between Israel and Arab states, a bank official said.
International trade activities of late have picked up momentum after the unprecedented market shocks and resultant inactivity due to COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdowns and closures around the world, with optimistic outlook for the near to medium term, B V Ramana, the CEO of SBI Tel Aviv branch told PTI.
'In view of the revival of business activity in the coming months with vaccine approvals being accorded by various governments around the world, we are offering our services/products to the Israeli business community at competitive pricing to meet all their cross border trade finance needs,' Ramana said.
Looking to tap into the huge business potential arising out of recent Abraham accords leading to normalisation of ties between Israel and Arab states, the Tel Aviv branch has been reaching out to Israeli exporters.
SBI has substantial presence in the Middle East, and the Gulf region in particular, which may act as an enabler and a catalyst for those looking to immediately engage in trade ties with the corporates in the UAE and Bahrain, Ramana said.
Trade finance solutions package for Israeli corporates includes bill discounting products for exports worldwide, including India, extending supplier's credit/ LC bill discounting, bill discounting based on reimbursement authorisation from LC issuing bank and receivables financing under open account trade.
Other trade related products and services include LC advising, LC confirmation, LC bill collection and bank guarantees.
The move has been welcomed by the Israel-India Chamber of Commerce which sees SBI as a 'natural partner'.
'We see the State Bank of India as a natural partner and we cooperate on a very wide range of activities with a lot of support from the SBI Ramat Gan branch for our Chamber. We have also recommended many of our members to open banking activity with the SBI', Raviv Byron, the President of Israel-India Chamber of Commerce, told PTI.
'As far as activity of Israeli companies wishing to work in the UAE and other Gulf States is concerned, SBI have a big advantage by having a working presence in both Israel and the Gulf states with registered corporate banking in both', he pointed out.
There is a lot of buzz around the economic potential arising out of the Abraham accords that led to the normalisation of ties between Israel and Arab countries and several delegational visits have already happened between these countries defying COVID-19 pandemic related challenges.
'Having an SBI branch in Israel is a major driver to promoting Israel-India trade relations. More than that, this is a bridge to the Israeli businesses not just to India, but to SBI’s presence world wide', Anat Bernstein-Reich, Chairperson of Israel-India Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce told PTI.
Sensing the business opportunity coming out of recent political developments in the region, SBI recently conducted a webinar in association with the bilateral chamber inviting Israeli corporates. It drew significant attention with around 47 participants, including 38 corporates.
SBI's Tel Aviv branch has been operational since 2007 catering to banking requirements of various industries and business segments. SBI has 233 touch points in 32 Countries and correspondent banking relationships with 225 banks across 56 countries. PTI HM MR