Onethousand speakers, participants and honorable guests from across the world attended the 10th Go4Europe conference at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv last Wednesday evening. Go4Europe is one of Israel's premier and most prestigious conferences serving the needs of investors and companies seeking cross-border business cooperation with Europe.The conference was hosted by Cukierman & Company Investment House and Catalyst Investments, helping European and Israeli businesses promote their relationship by providing a full array of investment banking services.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Edouard Cukierman raised a few issues currently threatening the European economy, including the decrease of capital investments, heavy debts, slow growth and lack of competition. According to Cukierman, saving the Euro, maintaining European unity and creating inflation would save the European market.
Mr. Yair Shamir, managing partner of Catalyst Investments, felt that the solution to Europe's severe economic crisis is to invest in innovation. According to Shamir, this would be the most critical, secure and beneficial investment both in the short and long term.
Greetings by President Shimon Peres were broadcast on a huge screen. In his welcome speech, Peres expressed confidence that the conference will serve to cement and further deepen the ties between European countries and Israel.
Another major point raised during the conference was how to improve the skewed European view of Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying for years to explain the rationale behind Israel’s position in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. However, one staged photo of Israeli tanks against Palestinian children dismisses all valid explanations.The overall spirit of the conference was a genuine attempt by the panelists to help Israel improve its image within Europe and around the world. The following are some of the measures suggested:1. Take advantage of the huge attention Israel receives in the world to emphasize the assets, qualities and great achievements of Israeli society.2. Emphasize Israel’s democratic ideals.3. Emphasize the general qualities Israel shares with Europe.4. Stop building settlements.5. Promote positive images of Israel, including biographic stories, progress and achievements in all walks of life.
Today, Europe is facing a severe economic crisis that has affected global economies including that of Israel. Fortunately for us, Israel has weathered the crisis better than many of our friends abroad. Despite global economic hardships, this is the time to consider what should be done to promote the economic ties between Israeli and European businesses.Cukierman and Co. and other major companies in Israel have begun various initiatives creating dedicated VC funds between the western economies and the BRIC countries.