Tourism Minister Stas Miszhnikov: “It would appear that the effects of Operation Pillar of Defense and the worsening geopolitical situation in the region are reverberating on incoming tourism. As a result, the ministry has begun the year 2013 with intensive marketing activities to realize Israel’s tourism potential by accelerating the implementation of the recommendations from the Committee to Reduce Vacation Costs, the grading of hotels and by emphasizing an improvement in professional training within the industry.”

Tourism Ministry Director-General Noaz Bar-Nir was named 2012 Man of the Year in Tourism  today (Tuesday) at IMTM – the International Mediterranean Tourism Market for his role as chairman of the Committee to Reduce the Cost of Vacation Packages in Israel, which Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov established. Bar-Nir said that he was pleased that the industry appreciates the work of the Tourism Ministry. 

















A special delegation of senior representatives of Korea Tourism organization will arrive in Israel in the next few days, to attend The International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM), opening February 5th, 2013 in Tel Aviv, in order to strengthen the ties between the two countries, and encourage tourist traffic

 

 “THE TOURISM MINISTRY IS SPEARHEADING A PROGRAM WHOSE GOAL IS TO INCREASE INCOMING TOURISM TO THE DEAD SEA AREA FROM 25% TO AT LEAST 50%” – THIS ACCORDING TO TOURISM MINISTRY SENIOR DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENTS ERAN NITZAN. “75% of all tourists at the Dead Sea currently are Israelis, with only 25% coming from overseas.
















“TOURISM IS A BRIDGE FOR PEACE AND THAT IS WHY I AM HERE” DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE BETHLEHEM HOTELS ASSOCIATION GEORGE ABU ATA TODAY AT THE HERZLIYA CONFERENCE ON TOURISM

“Tourism is a bridge for peace and that is why I am here, in order to explain what is going on in Bethlehem in terms of tourism. Tourists are coming in to Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity and Herodion and because overnight accommodation is cheaper there. Pilgrims feel good in Bethlehem, especially in the family hotels.”

“IN LIGHT OF THE STEPS TAKEN BY THE TOURISM MINISTRY, I ESTIMATE THAT THE IMPACT OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE ON TOURISM WILL BE A FEW PERCENTAGE POINTS DECREASE IN INCOMING TOURISM, PERHAPS NO MORE THAN 3-4% AND THE EFFECTS OF THE OPERATION WILL BE BEHIND US BY MAY 2013.” TOURISM MINISTRY DIRECTOR-GENERAL NOAZ BAR-NIR

At 10:00 AM, on February 6th, 2013, the two countries will host a joint event entitled “Experience Croatia, Feel Slovenia”, to promote and encourage Israeli tourism to both magical neighboring countries, located at the heart of Europe

In preparation for The 2013 International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) in Tel Aviv, Croatia and Slovenia will host on February 6th, 2013 a special joint event, intended to promote both countries’ relations with Israeli tourism operators, as well as to encourage the Israeli tourist to visit the two magical neighboring countries, located at the heart of Europe. This is the third consecutive time the two countries host a shared event for the IMTM.













           
  The water of the natural spring located in the vicinity of the Rogaška Spa, contains a very high concentration of natural magnesium 


Israel welcomes guests for the IMTM in Tel Aviv: a special delegation, hailing from one of the most well known health resorts in Europe, Rogaška in Slovenia, is due to arrive in Israel in the next few days, to take part in a special event , at the residence of Slovenian ambassador, Alenka Suhadolnik, in Herzliya Pituach. Dr. Zdenko Orožim, a famous Slovenian plastic surgeon, will lecture on new rejuvenating treatment methods.
Health resort and spa Rogaška is located in close proximity to both Slovenian and Croatian capitals, Zagreb and Ljubljana, in a magical forested valley, surrounded by green hills. Not  far from the resort is the place where the unique, mineral waters of the Donat gush forth from deep within the earth. Rich in magnesium and other vital minerals, this water has contributed to the resort’s evolvement into one of the most well known and attractive spas in all of Europe. Rogaška Spa prides itself in centuries of tradition. In its center is a large, well maintained structure that serves as a health and body care center, offering treatments in numerous health related fields. The resort attracts many visitors from all over the world, including Israel:  a few thousand Israeli tourists visit the resort each year.

DESPITE OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE WHICH CAUSED A DECREASE IN TOURIST ENTRIES IN DECEMBER, THE YEAR 2012 ENDED WITH 5% INCREASE ON 2011:

20% INCREASE FROM RUSSIA

16% INCREASE FROM ASIA

12% INCREASE FROM ITALY

8% INCREASE FROM HOLLAND

7% INCREASE FROM EUROPE

TOURISM MINISTER STAS MISEZHNIKOV: “Expanding the hotel room supply and encouraging competition within the hotel industry is central to reducing the cost of vacation packages in Israel. At the Herzliya Conference on Tourism that will take place next week, there will be discussions on the current and future trends related to accommodation options for incoming tourism, from hotels to apartment rental and overnights in neighboring countries. One must acknowledge the trends in this dynamic market in order to create the necessary tools to give an answer to the changing needs of the tourist, in order to increase incoming tourism to Israel.”

IT’S OFFICIAL: 2012 WAS A RECORD YEAR FOR INCOMING TOURISM 

WITH MORE THAN 3.5 MILLION VISITOR ENTRIES, 5% MORE THAN IN 2011

 EFFECT OF OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE:

238,000 ENTRIES IN DECEMBER, 9% LESS THAN DEC. 2011

 RECOVERY TOWARDS THE END OF DECEMBER:

SLIGHT INCREASE VERSUS SAME DAYS IN 2011













Please confirm your attendance by email      

MEET THE LEADERS: JÉRÉMIE BERREBI
“The two startup a week business angel”.

 SECOND PART: LEGAL EXPERT TEAM
Let's meet the team for a free legal advice

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Israel-France and its President,

Dr. Daniel Rouach, in partnership with Bank Leumi are pleased to invite you to a special Conference:
 
“MEET THE LEADERS”

Sunday, January 20th, 2013
from 18:00 to 20:00
Bank Leumi
34 Yehuda Halevi st. Tel Aviv

TOURISM MINISTRY WORKING TO REHABILITATE INCOMING TOURISM AFTER OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE: INVESTING NIS 15 MILLION IN CAMPAIGNS OVERSEAS AND A CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE DOMESTIC TOURISM TO THE SOUTH.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov: “After restoring stability and security to the south, now is the time to rehabilitate tourism to Israel and return to the upward trend from before the operation. In the last month, the Tourism Ministry has launched large campaigns overseas with a total investment of NIS 15 million that is being expanded to include domestic tourism campaigns.’ With the completion of Operation Pillar of Defense and in advance of the winter season, the Tourism Ministry is expanding its marketing activities in the United States, Canada and Russia with a NIS 15 million campaign. The campaign in the United States and Canada, which costs NIS 7 million, will target Christian communities in various cities, offering attractive vacation packages in the Holy Land for the winter season, alongside the spiritual experience of a visit to Israel. The winter campaign in the States and Canada, which appears in both English and Spanish, includes advertising in the mainstream and Christian print media, billboards, TV and radio stations, digital and social media, under the slogan: Visit Israel. You’ll never be the same.”




"Israel faces a choice between Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and President Abbas"

"I call upon all the Israeli parties, make up your minds about the future, stop arguing about the past"

The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, opened the Globes Israel Business Conference in a special on stage interview with senior CNN presenter Richard Quest. President Peres addressed the major issues of the day including the peace process with the Palestinians, the building in E1 and Hamas in Gaza.

 President Peres addressed Khaled Mashaal's visit to Gaza and said, "He unmasked the real nature of Hamas; a terrorist organization committed to killing and to conquering and opposed to compromise. There is no doubt that his intention is war and murder while the people of Gaza need economic prosperity.  Israel faces a choice between Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and President Abbas. The alternative to Hamas is Abbas, he is a serious man who has declared himself in favor of peace and compromise, of a demilitarized Palestinian state and against terror. He declared that there wouldn't be a Palestinian state in his hometown of Safed. He is for the two-state solution. We have two clear choices, nobody is perfect but one is right and the other is wrong. We have two choose between Mashaal and Abbas."

 




On November 22th the Commercial and Industrial Club (CIC) held a reunion and discussion panel at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Tel Aviv. CIC is an association dedicated exclusive to business executives and selected professionals from various disciplines in Israel.
 
Established in Tel Aviv in 1938, CIC is a meeting point for members from fields ranging from industry, high end technology, banking and finance, consulting, law, accounting, engineering and business. The objectives of the CIC reunions are to promote interaction and create networks between the members of the club and their guests. As such, these reunions offer a vast opportunity for the exchange of ideas and business initiatives both in and outside the club.
 
Customarily, all reunions consist of a discussion panel or a lecture on current affairs, both foreign and domestic. Thus on this occasion, the panel was composed of Latin American Ambassadors in Israel, HE Maria Elise Berenguer Brazilian Ambassador, HE Bernardo Greiver,  Ambassador of Uruguay, and Federico Salas Ambassador of Mexico.  The embassadors engaged the public with an important analysis on political and economic cooperation between Latin America and Israel.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER OPERATION PILLAR OF DEFENSE, THE TOURISM MINISTRY APPROVES GRANT ALLOCATION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOTEL ON THE SITE OF AN ABANDONED BUILDING ON THE SEASHORE.

 THE APPROVAL WAS GIVEN WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE GRANT REQUESTS SUBMITED TO THE INVESTMENTS ADMINISTRATION IN THE TOURISM MINISTRY FOR THE CONVERSION OF 13 HOTELS THAT WILL ADD ANOTHER 470 NEW HOTEL ROOMS AT AN OVERALL INVESTMENT OF ABOUT NIS 153 MILLION. ANOTHER PROJECT: CONVERSION OF THE CASINO BUILDING IN HAIFA TO A HOTEL
 
TOURISM MINISTER STAS MISEZHNIKOV: “THE TOURISM MINISTRY ATTACHES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND REHABILITATION OF TOURISM IN THE AREAS IN THE SOUTH AFFECTED BY THE RECENT HOSTILITIES. CONVERTING BUILDINGS INTO HOTELS IS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MINISTRY’S POLICY OF EXPANDING THE HOTEL SUPPLY IN ORDER TO CREATE COMPETITION THAT WILL LEAD TO LOWER VACATION COSTS IN ISRAEL. THIS IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE RECENTLY APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT.’

HAIFA-ACCO CRUISE LINE TO OPERATE FROM 15.3.2013. TOURISM MINISTRY WILL INVEST ABOUT
NIS 1 MILLION IN DEVELOPING THE INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE CITIES’ PORTS.
THE EXPECTED OUTCOME TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TOURISTS AND AN ANNUAL INJECTION OF ABOUT
NIS 10 MILLION IN THE ECONOMY

The Haifa-Acco cruise line will begin operations on 15 March 2013. This was agreed a few days ago by representatives of the Ministries of Tourism and Transport and the mayors of Haifa and Acco. The Tourism Ministry will invest about NIS 1 million in upgrading the infrastructure in the Haifa and Acco ports. The municipalities will help in marketing the cruise lines and including them in a combined ticket that offers tours to the tourist sites in Acco and Haifa. According to Tourism Ministry estimates, the line will attract tens of thousands of passengers and will inject about NIS 10 million into the economy. 

TOURISM MINISTER STAS MISEZHNIKOV: “OPERATIONAL STEPS WILL BE TAKEN WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS TO RETURN INCOMING TOURISM TO ITS PATH OF STEADY GROWTH OF THE LAST 3 YEARS. THE SCOPE OF THE DAMAGE TO THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IS NOT INSIGNIFICANT BUT REHABILITATING TOURISM AND ENSURING THAT RESIDENTS IN THE SOUTH ONCE AGAIN HAVE INCOME IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE VICTORY AND IS A NATIONAL MISSION”
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, Tourism Minister Director-General Noaz Bar Nir and senior representatives from the ministry met Thursday (22 November 2012) with tourism industry leaders in an initiative of the Federation of Israeli Tourist Organizations chaired by Michael Federmann to formulate a plan to rehabilitate tourism and to ensure a return to normal in the industry.
 
Damage Assessment and the Potential for Rehabilitation:
Tourism industry representatives at the meeting reported cancellation rates of between 10-20% on average and a slow-down on future reservations. The damage has also been felt in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and even in other regions across the country. Tourism industry representatives said that the damage could be minimized and it was estimated that the potential for rehabilitation is large in relation to other crises the industry has dealt with.The representatives stressed the urgency in implementing rehabilitative actions because, with the tourism industry unlike others, it is impossible to get back a large part of that which was lost. They also said that showing life returning to normal is most important in returning the flow of incoming tourism to Israel. The Federation of Israeli Tourist Organizations has taken upon itself the work of contacting those organizations which have made cancelations in order to persuade them to reverse their decisions.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, this morning (Monday, 5 November 2012), met with Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer<http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/exec/steve/default.aspx>. They discussed Microsoft's commitment to Israel, its vast investments in the local market and the impact it is having, driving economic growth through national level activity and programs focused on innovation economy, employability, education and more.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The combination of the State of Israel and Microsoft is natural since the Israeli high-tech industry is among the world's leaders. Microsoft was wise enough to see its potential many years ago and to benefit from the quality personnel in Israel. Our investment in high-tech industries and in training people for high-tech will continue to succeed and bear fruit. I believe that cooperation between the State of Israel and Microsoft will continue for many years."

THE KNESSET ECONOMIC COMMITTEE TODAY APPROVES THE NEW CRITERIA FOR HOTEL RATINGS IN ISRAEL, AS SUBMITTED BY THE MINISTER OF TOURISM.

THE CRITERIA WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE WITHIN 8 MONTHS

THE KNESSET ECONOMIC COMMITTEE IS EXPECTED TO APPROVE ON TUESDAY THE NEW CRITERIA FOR HOTEL RATINGS IN ISRAEL, AS SUBMITTED BY THE MINISTER OF TOURISM; ONCE THE CRITERIA ARE APPROVED, THE MINISTER WILL SIGN AND THE TENDER TO SELECT THE COMPANY TO EXECUTE THE RATING WILL BE LAUNCHED

THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM INVESTMENT ADMINISTRATION HAS APPROVED GRANTS FOR THE RENOVATION AND CONSTRUCTION OF SIX HOTELS AT A TOTAL INVESTMENT OF OVER NIS 80 MILLION

 

MINISTER OF TOURISM, STAS MISEZHNIKOV: “INCREASING THE NUMBER OF HOTELS PROMOTES COMPETITION AND REDUCES THE COST OF VACATION PACKAGES FOR MANY ISRAELIS AND FOR FOREIGN TOURISTS WHOSE NUMBERS ARE INCREASING AND THEREFORE WE NEED TO MAKE THE NECESSARY PREPARATIONS IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE THEM

296,000 visitors arrived in Israel in July 2013, 8% more than July 2012.
2 million visitors have arrived since the beginning of the year – 1.7 million of whom are tourists;
7% more than the same period last year.

EU–Israel aviation agreement: Israel joins Europe in aviation

Brussels, 22 March 2012 -

Israel and the European Union have finalized negotiations on a comprehensive aviation agreement during a final round of negotiating in Tel Aviv on 22 March 2012.

The agreement will gradually open up and integrate the respective markets, strengthen cooperation and offer new opportunities for industry, including airlines, and consumers.

Following eight rounds of negotiations since December 2008, the two sides have agreed to develop a common aviation area between Israel and the EU based on common rules. It is expected that the agreement will offer more travel opportunities, more direct connections and economic benefits for both sides.

"The comprehensive aviation agreement reached in Tel Aviv today is very important for further strengthening the overall economic, trade and tourism relations between Israel and the EU. Israel is a key partner for the EU and the agreement will do much to develop the aviation links between the two partners and establish a high level of regulatory convergence", said Vice-President Siim Kallas, EU Commissioner for transport, welcoming the agreement.

Real Estate Peaks Israel Real Estate Conference 2012

 Monday, March 5, David InterContinental Hotel, Tel Aviv

08:00-09:00 am Morning networking
09:00-10:45
am Opening plenum

 Releasing land - strangling credit
- The Bank of Israel against homebuyers
- Who will save the contractors this time?
- Will insurance companies accept the challenge?

 Opening remarks:
Eitan Madmon
, CEO Globes
Nissim Bublil, President, Association of Contractors and Buildings in Israel

Participants:
Eli Yones, CEO, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank
Professor Nathan Zussman, Director, Bank of Israel Research

 Personal Talk: Roy Yakir, CEO, Kanaf Clal Insurance; Eliezer Fishman, Abraham Kuznitsky, Chairman, Minrav Holdings;
Moderator: Dror Marmor, Real Estate Editor, Globes

 * Announcement of the winner of the Globes-Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality urban design competition

 

Real Estate Peaks Israel Real Estate Conference 2012

  Monday, March 5, David InterContinental Hotel, Tel Aviv

08:00-09:00 am Morning networking
09:00-10:45
am Opening plenum

 Releasing land - strangling credit
- The Bank of Israel against homebuyers
- Who will save the contractors this time?
- Will insurance companies accept the challenge?

 Opening remarks:
Eitan Madmon
, CEO Globes
Nissim Bublil, President, Association of Contractors and Buildings in Israel

Participants:
Eli Yones, CEO, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank
Professor Nathan Zussman, Director, Bank of Israel Research

 Personal Talk: Roy Yakir, CEO, Kanaf Clal Insurance; Eliezer Fishman, Abraham Kuznitsky, Chairman, Minrav Holdings;
Moderator: Dror Marmor, Real Estate Editor, Globes

 * Announcement of the winner of the Globes-Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality urban design competition

 

 

 

 

10:45-11:15 am Networking

11:15am-1:45pm Parallel Sessions
Waiting for a change
- The new residential mix
- Local authorities vs. the Ministry of Housing and Construction
- The place of public dialogue in the municipal space

In the presence of Minister of Housing and Construction, Mr. Ariel Atias

 

Participants:
Dr. Linhui Sui, Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Scientist, ET Solar Group
Prof. Eugene Kandel, Chairman, National Economic Council, Prime Minister's Office

Panel:
Chaim Avitan, Mayor, Hadera Municipality
Adv. Lital Gindi-Matalon, Co-Owner and Joint Chief Executive Officer, Gindi Holdings
Benny Vaknin, Mayor, Ashkelon Municipality
Bentzi Lieberman, Director, Israel Land Administration
Avi Maor, CEO, Hanan Mor Holdings Group
Miriam Fierberg, Mayor, Netanya Municipality
Moderator: Dror Marmor, Real Estate Editor, Globes

* Revealing the Real Estate Man of the Year

* Revealing Globes' Real Estate Survey. In collaboration with "Rating Research"


11:15am-12:30 pm Parallel Sessions

Rebranding the image of the realtor
- Improving the image of the realtor
Yigal Roda, General Manager, El-Haneches, Savyon Bikat Ono; Rami Yehudiha, Owner & CEO, ; Jacky Mukmel, CEO, Man Properties; Benny Keret, CEO, Azimuth Adv. & A member of BBR Group, LEAD
Moderator: Li-Or Averbach, Editor, Firma Magazine, Globes

11:00am-1:00 pm Parallel Sessions
Solar energy systems - from provisional licenses to setting tariffs
One-on-one consultancy meetings
*Prior registration is required
Anat Oren-Elad, Marketing Department, Israel Electricity Company (IEC)
Shay Denzinger, Consultant
Adv. Gilad Maoz, Partner, Epstein Rosenblum Maoz (ERM)
Ron Niv, Owner & CEO, RN Management & Holdings
Ilya Parzynski, Director, PwC Israel
Adv. Nimrod Rosenblum, Partner, Epstein Rosenblum Maoz (ERM)
;Ofir Doron, Head of the Energy Department, Migdal Finance; Rafi Kirshenboim, CEO, ET Solar Israel; Aviad Friedman, Parner & CEO, Energy Ways

1:45-2:45 pm Networking

2:45-4:15 pm Parallel Sessions
Freeing up the metropolitan Tel Aviv logjam
- A metropolitan authority - solution or waste of time?
- Subway or light rail for greater Tel Aviv?
In the presence of Minister of Transport & Road Safety, Mr. Yisrael Katz

Participants:
Dr. Tomer Goodovitch, GM Darad38 venture capital for private public projects
Dan Harel, Director General, Minister of Transportation & & Road Safety
Danny Marian, Chairman, Israel Engineers Association for Construction and Infrastructure
Boaz Tzafrir, CEO, Israel Railways
Michael Ratzon, Chairman, N.T.A. Metropolitan Mass Transit System
Abraham Kuznitsky, Chairman, Minrav Holdings
Moderator: Stella Koren Liber
, Senior Commentator, Globes

2:45-4:15 pm Parallel Sessions
World of opportunities
-
Investing or not
- Smart targets overseas
- New or existing project?

Gadi Ben Haim, Head of Real Estate Investment, Harel Group
Avital Bar-Dayan, Executive Vice President, Midroog
Shlomo Gotman, Deputy CEO, Phoenix
Duri Segal, Vice Chairman, Gazit Globe
Sobehi Tenus, Owner, STR Real Estate Group
Oded Shamir, CEO, Jerusalem Economy
Moderator: Ron Stein, Insurance Correspondent, Globes

2:45-4:15 pm Parallel Sessions
Income-producing real estate in Israel - a dangerous bubble
-
Who will occupy the new office towers in greater Tel Aviv?
- Has the entry of foreign brands postponed the sting?
Introduction: Ran Goldstein, Head of Real Estate Department, Midroog
Participants:
Gilad Oren, CEO, Ashkelon Economic
Yossi Gordon, Manager Real Estate and Construction Finance Sector, Mizrahi Tefahot
Alon Glazer, Head of Research Department, Leader Capital Markets
Ohad Dannus, Chairman, Chairman, Real Estate Appraisers Association in Israel
Moshe Rosenblum, CEO, Melisron
Nachshon kivity, Chairman and Owner, B.S.R Group
Moderator: Dror Marmor, Real Estate Editor, Globes

2:45-4:15 pm Parallel Sessions
The right to a roof
- What will be the criteria and who will benefit?
- The government is evading decisions on affordable housing
Yaron Bibi, Former Head of the Israel Lands Administration
Adv. Gil Gan-Mor, Coordinator of the Right to Housing project at flagship NIF grantee Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Saidon, Netanya Chairman, Development Company; Raul Sarugo, CEO, Sarugo Construction;
Reuven Kogan, Deputy Director of Budge Ministry of Finance
Moderator: Moshe Lichtman, Editor Real Estate Portal Online, Globes

2:45-4:15 pm Parallel Sessions
Solar Energy - the New Real Estate
- Fast-track licensing for building PV facilities
- From provisional license to approval of electricity rates - failures en route and how to fix them
Dr. Linhui Sui, Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Scientist, ET Solar Group
Adv. Amnon Epstein, Partner, Epstein Rosenblum Maoz (ERM)
Israel Movshovitz, Vice President Marketing, Israel Electric
Dr. Ilan Suliman, Chairmam, Founder, Ilan Suliman Energy & Regulation Consulting Ltd
Adv. Nimrod Rosenblum, Partner, Epstein Rosenblum Maoz (ERM)
Rafi Kirshenboim, CEO, ET Solar Israel
Moderator: Mr. Amiram Barkat, Energy & Infrastructures Correspondent, Globes

FM Liberman told Ban Ki-Moon that Israel appreciates the stand he took and the unequivocal message he expressed against the unilateral measures taken by the Palestinians at the UN.

reuterslibermanbankimoon
FM Liberman meets with UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-Moon in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

 

In my view, the Israeli economy is a sort of miracle, and we have very talented people.

herzliyaconffischer
Photo courtesy IDC Herzliya Conference

The Ministry of Finance Completes a 10.5-Year Overseas Bond Issue
for a Total of $1.5 Billion at a Yield of 4.115%
magen

European Union Delegation is visiting the Ministry of Finance.
Against the backdrop of the Euro Zone crisis and the challenges faced by the Israeli economy, and within the framework of a regular economic dialogue foreseen in the EU-Israel Association Agreement, a delegation from the European Union is visiting the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem.
magen

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Israeli web app, currently available in the US, aims to save consumers and banks from scams, bad billing practices, double charges and flat-out errors.

billguard1The team behind BillGuard

The Preferred Hotel Group has chosen Inbal Jerusalem, a 5-star facility, to become part of the internationally renowned Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection of "ultimate luxury" hotels starting February 1st 2012.

Inbal-Hotel-Lobby1















The Prime Minister received from him the OECD's first review of Israel's environmental accomplishments.

(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
PM Netanyahu and Environmental Protection Minister Erdan with OECD Deputy Secretary-General Tamaki (Photo: GPO)

The rating action reflects S&P view of Israel's improved economic policy flexibility as a result of strong growth and careful macroeconomic management.

(Communicated by the Ministry of Finance)

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) raised its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on the State of Israel to 'A+/A-1' from 'A/A-1'. At the same time, S&P affirmed the local currency ratings at 'AA-/A-1+'. Also, S&P's outlook is stable, and the transfer and convertibility (T&C) assessment remains at 'AA'.

 
Notes by Standard & Poor's on Israel's rating upgrade:

S&P mentioned that their ratings on Israel are supported by their view of its "prosperous and resilient economy, strong institutions, ongoing fiscal consolidation, and robust external performance." The ratings are also constrained by significant geopolitical risks, partially offset by U.S. support, and its still-sizeable public-sector debt burden.

According to S&P, Israel is on a credible path toward continued government debt burden reduction and stronger external indicators, having weathered the global financial crisis well. S&P also noted that Israel's external position is sound, as a result of consistent current account surpluses since 2003, and that that the production of natural gas by the middle of the decade is likely to further increase the economy's efficiency as well as strengthen its fiscal and external positions.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's opinion that Israel's popular consensus about containing public debt will remain intact despite social protests. S&P noted that "despite rapid appreciation in housing prices, we do not consider the sovereign to be exposed to significant contingent liabilities from the financial system.

Also, according to S&P, the banking sector appears to be tightly regulated, resident banks seem to pursue relatively conservative business models, and Israeli banks and households are also fairly well capitalized by international standards.

 

Israel's credit ratings:

S&P first upgraded Israel's credit rating to 'A' in 2007. In January 2009, it reaffirmed its decision, further giving Israel's market a "solid" forecast. Alongside the decision by S&P to upgrade Israel's credit rating to A+ this September, the two other major credit rating firms, Moody's and Fitch, also reaffirmed their rating towards Israel, as Moody's left Israel's A1-Stable rating unchanged, and Fitch ratings left Israel's A Stable rating unchanged.

 

Comments by Ministry of Finance officials:

Minister of Finance, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, noted that "this is an impressive credit given to the Israeli economy and its successful coping with the global economic crisis. This achievement of credit upgrade is especially unique given the debt and massive unemployment crisis, which hurt many economies' credit rating." Minister Steinitz also noted that "the fact that S&P mentioned the latest natural gas findings as a point of strength for the Israeli economy indicated the importance of the work done by the Committee to Examine the Fiscal Policy on Oil and Gas Resources in Israel, Headed by Prof. Eytan Sheshinski." The minister added that "Israel cannot rest on its laurels, as the on-going global crisis demands us to keep our budget frameworks and economic policies.

The Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance, Ms. Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, noted that "the announcement by S&P in such times, when the world is confronting a deep global economic crisis, testifies on the strength of the Israeli economy and reinforces the importance of reducing Israel's public debt."

IMTM 2011 will be held on 8-9 February 2011 at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center: from 15:00 on, the general public are invited - at no charge.

This year’s IMTM 2011 - Israel's International Mediterranean Tourism Market – is set to be the biggest since its inception 17 years ago. Over 300 exhibitors from more than 35 countries are participating in the fair, to be held on 8-9 February in Pavilion 1 at the Tel Aviv Convention Center.

Participant countries include this year Croatia, Russia, Romania, Cyprus, Turkey, Germany, Italy, the UK, Estonia, Slovenia, Belarus, Portugal, Spain, Lithuania, Montenegro, Latvia, Georgia, Belgium, India, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and Tanzania.

And after a two-year break, Greece is participating again, following its popularity as a destination for Israelis who continue to boycott Turkey.

Dozens of tourism and leisure organizations from Israel are set to attend, and will present the Israeli public with this year’s innovations and attractions, aimed at boosting domestic tourism.

On Tuesday and Wednesday (February 8 and 9) IMTM will be open to the general public - at no charge - from 15:00.

Several professional conferences will be held during the event. Travel agents will be discussing the question of the Dead Sea with journalists, the sixth Annual Conference of the Center for Academic Studies will be looking at innovation and creativity in Israel’s tourism sector, and a special conference for managers of Human Resources and Employee Well-Being is planned - “Human Resources and Employee Well-Being in the Social Networks Era.”

Eyal Shmueli, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Israel Travel News magazine, and one of the architects of IMTM comments: "I'm proud to say that this year we’re expecting a record number of exhibitors. Every year we’re thrilled by the huge number of queries from dozens of countries and Israeli tourism sites – all planning to attend the event. It’s an expression of confidence in Israeli tourists and their economic clout. Like every year, we’ll be awarding special emphasis to domestic tourism and incoming tourism – both of which are flourishing, and generating thousands of jobs in Israel. We invite everyone to come to the event and take a world tour in just a couple of hours."

IMTM Is the annual central event of Israel’s tourism sector. Its mission is to encourage incoming and outgoing tourism, plus domestic tourism in Israel, and to strengthen joint ventures with other countries. This is the 17th consecutive year of the event. Alongside the foreign nations taking part are Israeli representatives, tourism associations from around the country, hotels and airlines, car rental organizations, and tourism-service providers.

The event is organized by Ortra Ltd. and Israel Travel News, and sponsored by the Tourism Ministry, the Israel Hotel Association, EL AL, IATA, Israel Tourist & Travel Agents Association and Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association.

Tourists from both Israel and abroad can travel the country and enjoy activities that have minimal impact on the environment and build environmental awareness.



Environmental tourism options in Israel are growing apace, especially in the verdant Galilee region. If you want a healthy holiday, check in to the 

Mizpe-Hayamim Hotel, Spa and Organic Farm.

 Dating from the 1960s, the complex was the vision of Dr. Eric Yaros – a physician and homeopath who emigrated from Berlin.

 The vegetarian restaurant gets a personal recommendation and while you're there, be sure to walk up the hill to the 28-acre farm that supplies every single one of the restaurant’s seasonal vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

 The valley below the hotel is home to the bird-watching paradise of the Hula Valley and Lake Agmon. More than 500 million birds – 400 species – stop over in the valley, as they migrate between Europe and Africa in the spring and fall. Visitors can rent electric golf carts or bicycles, and set out alone or with a resident ornithologist for a tour of the restored wetlands

 For a more intimate green getaway, try Hemdatiya in Moshav Sejera–Ilaniya. It's a small B&B with five rooms, in carefully-restored stone farm buildings dating from the early 20th century. Vineyards, goats and seasonal organic vegetable gardens, provide salads, wine and cheese for guests.

 Another attractive and practical eco-feature for drought-plagued Israel – all the water from the rooms is channeled down to the wetlands, to irrigate the orchards.

 Atalya Trua, one of the owners of Hemdatiya, is passionate about the importance of the eco-holiday site: "The ecologic life is the only way to live today… for the environment, and for the next people, the next generation."

As has been customary for many years thus far, the largest Israeli business convention was once again inaugurated and sponsored by Globes.Stanley Fisher

 

The event played host to the most recognized and intriguing people in the Israeli financial and political world as they embark upon dealing with the issues that will design the forecasted outlook of the state and the economy over the next year.

It was thus no surprise that President of Bank of Israel, Prof. Stanley Fischer, was named 'Person of the Year' by Globes.  Fisher has been praised worldwide for his headstrong economic policies and how those policies have helped Israeli prosper and stay afloat during the world's far reaching economic downturn. 



Fischer showed his gratitude for the honor by thanking those in attendance.

"When we at the Bank of Israel come to make a decision on interests and interventions, we sit down in the office and we decide; it's that simple," explained Fisher.  "

"One time, I gave a lecture at a school in Modiin, and the teacher asked me how I come to make decisions on interest rates.  Well, without the extraordinary team that we have in the Bank of Israel - directors and employees - we could not have done what we did. It looks simple but it is not. They did it without hesitation and with great success and that is why the world of finance should congratulate these professionals," he continued.



Fischer did not hesitate in praising the Israeli Economy.

"We can press all the buttons we want, but if there is no economy that responds correspondingly, it will have no significant influence. For example, the low interests in the USA do not influence the mortgage loans, given that there are serious problems in this sector and that the banks are not willing to allow them.



 

We reduced the interest rates and attained a healthy financial system. That is why the banks responded immediately. Our ability to influence the economy is due to the fact that for many years there were people that worked to strengthen it. This started with the stabilization program of banks in 1985. The past representatives of the Bank of Israel and the ministries of Treasury and Employment also contributed significantly to our current, favorable situation.

In the times of the debt crisis in Europe and the United States, it is not shocking by any means that both are suffering the greatest financial disparity in the last hundred years."  

Fischer emphasized the importance of a stable economic model.

 


"If we are to learn anything from this crisis, it is that without a strong and healthy financial system, the economy can collapse," declared Fischer.

Look at Ireland: they did everything correctly except for one thing, they weren't cautious in the financial sector.  The revenue agents allowed for the banks to grow at 700% of the gross domestic product (GDP).



If the State needs to save a banking system whose substance is seven times greater than the economy, there is a problem. The fact that our financial sector is relatively conservative and that we have very strict control over the financial system are reasons why we [the majority of countries] are in the current situation; the biggest crisis since the 1930's."

In this light, Fischer shared with those present, the moment in which he was asked to be the President of the Bank of Israel



"It was at the end of 2004 when my wife and I were on vacation and Bibi [PM Netanyahu] spoke with us. He tried to convince me to accept his offer. It was his own proposition, after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's previous offer. Now, I can tell them both, that I am grateful for having been granted the opportunity to conduct something I always wanted to - to contribute in some way or another to the success of the Israeli economy.

In his praises and thanks, Fischer referred to the issues that require attention in Israel


President Shimon Peres and Diplomacy's Danny Schwarz

 

"We have very serious problems such as poverty, infrastructures, peace...we are very good at dealing with the immediate issues but less so with the long term challenges. We must make a change. Five and a half years ago, I said that the Israeli economy was strong and very flexible. Many people approached me and told me I was too optimistic. I believe that if one does not listen to the all the scandals concerning the economy and if we look at what we achieve despite the challenges and wars; we have reasons to feel proud of ourselves.

But like everything in life, we must avoid indulgence. We are good for now, but these circumstances can change quickly and there still remains a lot to be done.''



Photos Silvia Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diplomacy.co.il is proud to announce, in association with the Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, the official visit of some of Spain's newest, inovative and most promising companies.

 

 

The delegation which will be visiting Israel on November 16th and 17th 2010 will be lead by the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, and is geared towards importers, distributors and representatives within the Israeli market.

 

 

 

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF BARCELONA

ISRAEL:  NOVEMBER 16TH AND 17TH 2010

 

 

 

1.- ESBELT, S.A.

Website: www.esbelt.com/index.php?IDM=EN 

Activity: Belts and buckets for conveyor belt elevators, accessories, etc.

 

2.- FLOWLAB PROYECTOS DE INNOVACION, S.L.

Activity: E-Health solutions, Insurance and Pharma companies, home monitoring service, adherence solutions for chronic diseases and advisory and consulting for new E-Health services development.

 

3.- FMC FORET, S.A.

Website: www.fmcforet.com/Home/tabid/1805/language/en-GB/Default.aspx

Activity: Strengthener product for agriculture that increases crop production, improves the efficient use of water while protecting against harmful insects and fungal diseases. Binder for clay soils.

 

 4.- MAQUINARIA DE ENVASE Y EMBALAJE, S.A.

Website: www.envasadoras-paris.com/INDEX_i.htm

Activity: Packing, filing, capping and labeling equipment for liquids without gas. Packing equipment in small doses for powder, liquid or dense products.

 

 5 - MAXCHIEF EUROPE, S.L.

Activity: Plastic and metal furniture.

 

 

                                                                                                                                              

 

The delegation is compiling data and information for the preparation of an Environmental Performance Review of Israel.



 

A delegation of experts from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its member states including Norway, Germany, Korea and the USA has completed its visit to Israel to assess environmental conditions in the country and to compile data and information for the preparation of an Environmental Performance Review of Israel.

According to Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, "The arrival of the mission underlines the importance given by the OECD to the environment and to assuring quality of life in its member countries alongside economic growth. I hope that Israel's Environmental Performance Report will help upgrade the environment on Israel's national priority list."

 

Within the framework of Israel's accession to the OECD , the organization will be preparing an Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Israel. During the delegation's 11 day visit to Israel, members met with the Minister of Environmental Protection as well as with representatives of government, local authorities, industry, environmental non-governmental organizations, etc. Their visit included field trips to the Hiriya recycling park, the Dan Region Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Hadera desalination facility.

Minister Erdan: "Analysis of the report which will be prepared by the OECD will allow Israel to assess its progress in attaining its goals and its international commitments. Its recommendations will serve as a catalyst for promoting our environmental performance."

 

The report will review Israel's environmental performance, with special attention to the use of economic tools for tackling environmental issues, including, among others, energy and air quality, transport and the environment, tourism and the environment, coastal zone management, the national greenhouse gas registry and reporting system, water, biodiversity, noise, waste and recycling, etc.

The report, which will be submitted to the government of Israel, will include conclusions and recommendations as well as a timetable for implementation designed to improve Israel's environmental performance. The OECD will formally follow up on Israel's progress in implementing its recommendations.

 

The Director General of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Dr. Yossi Inbar, said: "This comparative assessment and the EPR process itself are an opportunity to review Israel's environmental performance in different subject vis a vis the existing knowledge worldwide. These tools will also allow us to contribute of the wide range of knowledge which exists in Israel in fields in which we are at the forefront."

 

In preparation for the delegation, the Ministry of Environmental Protection submitted background material, reports and data  to the OECD on a wide variety of subjects:

  1. Biodiversity in Israel - scientific data, information on open space, policy tools and Israel's National Biodiversity Plan, which was published in 2010.
  2. Examples of technological innovation in industry in Israel and the diversity of tools used to encourage innovation.
  3. The Clean Air Law and preparations for its entry into force in January 2011.
  4. The waste revolution and the introduction of extended producer responsibility on packaging spearheaded by the Ministry.
  5. Treatment and recovery of wastewater in agriculture, a field in which Israel is an acknowledged world leader.
  6. Desalination in Israel and measures taken to address the environmental aspects of desalination.
  7. Israel's active participation in international frameworks such as the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), cooperation on high production volume (HPV) chemicals, etc.
  8. Background material on local environmental activities such as community gardens.
  9. River rehabilitation in Israel and the chain of parks.
  10. Wide-ranging data on air quality in Israel, water quality, Sea of Galilee, etc.

 

An Environmental Performance Review is prepared by the OECD for member countries every few years, in order to improve the environmental performance of these states and to create a comparative index among OECD members. Furthermore, the report promotes a continuous policy dialogue among member countries through "peer learning" and stimulates a greater accountability from member countries' governments toward public opinion.

 

 

 

 

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism serves as official host for gathering of 28 OECD member nations

Tourism Minister: "Conference is important vote of confidence in Israel’s position as an economic leader."



[Full opening speech by Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov below]

The 86th Session of the Tourism Committee of the OECD opened today in Jerusalem, hosted by Israel's Ministry of Tourism. This is only the second time in its history that the Committee meeting is being held outside of Paris.

The Conference was opened with an address by the Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov, who described the event as an ""important vote of confidence in Israel's position as an economic leader," and continued, "this is an exceptional occasion for the State of Israel as we are today inaugurating the first historic OECD event taking place in Israel."



The Minister further said, "The OECD brings together governments of countries committed to democracy and to the market economy from around the world. This conference will therefore offer an ideal setting where we have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and know-how. In the tourism field, we realize our magical ability to build bridges between nations, societies, civilizations and cultures, and this conference will enable us to jointly work towards realizing those objectives."



The first OECD event to take place in Israel since the country became an official member of the organization, the session welcomed high-level delegations from 28 OECD members. The conference opened with a closed-door session of the Tourism Committee, and will be followed by a high-level roundtable, devoted to issues of green tourism and the role OECD member nations have in promoting environmentally-friendly initiatives particularly in the hotel and aviation industries. Israeli business leaders and economists will be in attendance for the Roundtable and a team of academics from the University of Haifa and the Sorbonne will present research detailing the travel industry's impact on the environment and new directions the international community can take to limit its damage.



Opening Address of Mr. Stas Misezhnikov,
Minister of Tourism of Israel, at the
86th Session of the OECD Tourism Committee in Jerusalem



Dear Madam Isabel Hill, Chair of the OECD Tourism Committee,
Dear Delegates, Observers and Invitees,
Dear members of the Secretariat, Mr. Sergio ARZENI & Mr. Alain DUPEYRAS, who have invested so much in cooperation with the administration of my ministry for the realization of this conference in Israel,

Shalom & welcome to you all at the opening of the 86th Session of the OECD Tourism Committee usually held in Paris and for this time in Jerusalem. This is in fact an exceptional occasion for the State of Israel - we are inaugurating here and today the first historic OECD event taking place in Israel.



In today's interdependent economy, we face the challenge of supporting sustainable economic growth in a borderless financial world, bearing in mind that we must boost employment and raise the living standards.

The OECD, which brings together governments of countries committed to democracy and to the market economy from around the world, offers an ideal setting where we have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and know-how. In the tourism field, we compare policy experiences, seeking for answers to common problems and identifying the good practice. In the frame of the OECD, we, the Member States, carry out analyses and forecast of our policies and strive to coordinate their implementation at the domestic and international level.



The OECD was established in the wake of World War II in order to implement the Marshall Plan. Today the organization counts 32 market economy democracies formally collaborating with 70 developing and emerging economies. It is a successful framework transforming the approach and relations between nations and a raw model for our region where a stable and strong economy would benefit all the inhabitants.

Moreover, dealing with tourism, our field of expertise, we realize our magic ability to build bridges between nations, societies, civilizations, cultures - in other words, facilitate the voyage to the other, meeting him in his environment permitting to develop beyond expectations the human social dimension.



Based upon stability and common interest, cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem are cooperating for the well-being of thousands of visitors, daily crossing from Israel to the Palestinian Authority and vice-versa, benefiting the citizens of those cities. I am confident that this tourism dynamism will spread and we can anticipate the combination with other localities like Jericho joining in that form of cooperation.

Among international organizations, the OECD is the strongest, most effective proponent of open, competitive innovative market economies. Through its pioneering public policy research, and effective approach, involving the public and private sectors, the OECD is a dynamic international incubator for new ideas.



In the course of this Session, the peer review of tourism in Italy will be presented – a concrete lesson for all of us from a leading country in the field of Tourism. Our professional team at the Ministry of Tourism will initiate a special meeting with the Italian delegation in order to make best use of the study of the Italian experience undertaking an appropriate analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in our systems.

We will be focusing in the three forthcoming days on the professional agenda of tourism. The OECD's economic analysis and surveillance is recognized among the best in the world. It fixes international standards supported by the public and private sector. This is an adequate forum where listening to each other permits to project for the future and do best for the international industry of tourism.



This regular session of the tourism committee will be followed back-to-back by a High Level Round Table fostering on "Green Tourism". We will have the opportunity of being addressed by academics in an innovative research, leading figures from the industry and prominent economists. Our keynote speakers, Dr. Taleb RIFAI, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Mr. Aart DE GEUS, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD and Prof. Stanley Fisher, the Governor of the Bank of Israel will enrich our unique encounter here in Israel. Just to mention, that the governor of the Bank of Israel, is one of the architect of the solid economy of the State of Israel which overcame in good terms the last world crisis.



In 2009, close to two million seven hundred thousand visitors entered Israel. As we know, due to the global economic crisis, the year 2009 opened on a difficult trend. We adopted and implemented a new concept positioning Israel in its exclusive tourist particularities focusing on History, Culture and Religion. At the same time we maintained the interest in the other leisure elements. Beginning from May 2009, we started to benefit from this new policy, the trend changed and we will be concluding the year 2010 with close to 3.3 million tourists - a remarkable increase of more than half million tourists. Concerning our hotels infrastructure built on close to 48 thousand rooms, we noted a high level of occupancy along the year.



Israel is positioned today as a destination in the general market offering culture and discovery, leisure and fun preserving the particularities of our sites. The religious and historical heritage of Israel and our region, cradle of the monotheist civilizations and cultures, belongs to the world collective memory.

The advanced infrastructure of Israel permits to tour and discover the country in comfort from the green and serene Galilee to the inspiring desert of the Negev, from the trendy and hi-tech Tel Aviv to the spiritual and cultural Jerusalem, leisure and fun in Eilat and magic facing the Sea of Galilee from the city of Tiberias.



The Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth - is competing as an international site on behalf of Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority against 27 other natural sites around the world in the finals of the New 7 Wonders of Nature global campaign. Another productive area of cooperation.

Out of the basic values that our region contributed to the world modern society, tourism transmits reciprocate openness, constructive dialogue, recognition of each other and tolerance in mutual respect.



Dear guests, accept on behalf of the State of Israel and the Ministry of Tourism, our most welcome and warmest shalom here in Jerusalem, City of all memories.

 

 

 

 

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