Economy and Tourism
- Written by Buzzy Gordon
- Written by Silvia G Golan
first International Business Opportunities Gateway Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania & Israel - Baltic countries
The Society of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Israel (SEEEI) hold these days its first International Business Opportunities Gateway Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania. Over 85 entrepreneurs and business leaders, decision makers and senior officials from Israel and the Baltic countries met in the relaxed atmosphere of the Grand Vilnius Resort.
The meeting focused on electrical power and energy, and entrepreneurship. Participants discussed a variety of topics: energy management, cyber protection of critical infrastructure, entrepreneurship and start-ups, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart energy systems. The forum provides a platform for entrepreneurs and business professionals from industry and governmental agencies to collaborate and promote common business, and partnership in future projects and tenders.
Among the Lithuanian participants and keynote speakers, are: Mr. Evaladas Gustas – the Lithonia Minister of Economy; Mr. Rokas Baliukovas – Lithuanian deputy Minister of Energy; Dr. Remigijus Simasius – the mayor of Vilnius; Dr. Aleksandras Abisala – former Prime Minister of Lithuania; Dr. Dalius Minisunas – chair of the Lithuanian Electrical Company. Israeli speakers include: Mr. Emil Koifman – chairman of SEEEI; Prof. Izzy Borovich – the forum chair; Mr. Elisha Yanay – chair of the Industrials Association of Electronics and Software Industries; Mr. Emanuel Marynko – Chair of Yanai Electrical Engineering.
Baltic States and Lithuania are considered innovative countries with an impressive economic growth rate and massive utilities and energy development programs. Many of the programs are funded by the World Bank and the European Union. Israel is considered a technological superpower with entrepreneurship, and technology competitive presence. Therefore, the Society of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in Israel, considers Vilnius to be an attractive hub for international opportunities.
SEEEI represents the Israeli community of electrical and electronics engineers, academics and decision makers engaged in electronics, electrical engineering, energy, and smart systems. SEEEI holds a major international annual conference in Eilat (Electricity 2016).
Emil Koifman, SEEEI chairman, said that "the Business Gateway Forum in Vilnius is a platform for initiating business contacts to establish joint ventures and joint international projects. In an era of intelligent energy, Internet of Things (IOT), new technologies and developments, the market depends very much on partnerships. International commercial success is dependent business partnership ".
From left to right: Lieutenant Colonel Luca Dottarelli; Mr. Emil Koifman – chairman of SEEEI; Prof. Izzy Borovich – the forum chair and Mr. Elisha Yanay – chair of the Industrials Association of Electronics and Software Industries.
- Written by U.S. Chamber of Commerce & Manufacturers' Association
U.S. Chamber Commits to Enhancing Commercial and Economic Relationship with Israel
MOU between the world's largest business organization and Israel's leading Business Organization in Israel Seeks to Expand Cooperation with Israel Private Sector
- Written by Go 4 Israel
GoforIsrael 2016 Conference – First Time in China
Shanghai will host the Israeli International GoforIsrael Conference
with the participation of 1,000 Investors and Entrepreneurs from China and Israel
The 16th GoforIsrael annual conference will be held for the first time outside of Israel, on September 20th, at the Grand Hyatt, Shanghai. Organized by Cukierman & Co. Investment House Ltd. and Catalyst Funds, GoforIsrael is one of the most influential business conferences in Israel, having won worldwide recognition for shaping the future of Israeli and related global investments and policies. Having focused for years on raising funds and establishing strategic alliances between Israeli companies, investors and corporates from around the world, this year the main focus is on the opportunities between Israel and China as well as Chinese investment appetite across key industries, such as Life Sciences, Clean-Energy, TMT and many others. The event this year is jointly organized with Yafo Capital, an investment House in Shanghai, China.
Edouard Cukierman, Chairman of Cukierman Investment House and Managing Partner of Catalyst CEL, Israeli-Chinese Fund: "The goal of this conference is to leverage the opportunity of a unique encounter with hundreds of Chinese investors, in a very focused and direct way. Israeli technology companies will benefit from pre-organized meetings with potential investors, and from the opportunity to present their technologies on stage. We expect to have continuous 1:1 meetings between investors and entrepreneurs during the conference”.
One of the key speakers will be the Israeli Minister of Transportation and Intelligence, Mr. Yisrael Katz. His participation at the event reflects current trends which have gone far and beyond just hi tech, namely the cementing of the China-Israel relations across sectors including Infrastructure. A special panel will be dedicated to the cooperation with Israel in this area. The 'One Belt One Road' Chinese Government Project to rebuild the 'Silk Road' in order to strengthen the economic ties between China and Europe, Asia and Africa, paves the way for Israel to play an important role.
One of the events honored partners is the China-Israel Changzhou Innovation Park (CIP), which has become a home for large Israeli Hi-tech companies including Lycored, Growponics and Tuttnauer. CIP provides a unique platform for Israeli Technology companies that are seeking to make their first step into the Chinese market. Their goal is to provide Israeli companies with a headquarter in the Wujin Economic Zone (WEZ), the leading Science Innovation Center of Jiangsu Province
GoforIsrael 2016 will host key decision makers, business representatives and parliamentarians from China and Israel. The conference expects to welcome 100 Chinese VCs and PE Funds as well as hundreds other Chinese investors. The long list of senior speakers includes:
Mr. Ysrael Katz - Minister of Transportation and Intelligence, Ambassador Mattan Vilnai Amikam Levy - Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, Yair Shamir - Former Minister of Agriculture of Israel, Managing Partner, Catalyst Fund, Ronnie Chan - Chairman of Hang Lung Properties, Antony Leung - CEO of Nanfung Group, Igal Landau - CEO of Ratio, Chen Shuang -CEO of China Everbright Limited, Shengyan Fan - Managing Director – Catalyst CEL Fund,senior executives from Chinese companies such as Baidu, Alibaba, Lenovo, Sinochem, NetEase, Tencent, ChemChina, Luc Muller - Chairman of Lamina & Catalyst Fund Partner, Roger Cukierman - Board Member, Cukierman & Co, VP World Jewish Congress, Rurik Hallaby - Chairman and Founder of AgriCapital Corporation and many other leading business leaders and decision makers.
For the Conference Agenda: GoforIsrael
This year's conference panels will address issues such as: Israel-China M&A; Technology, media and telecom; Market strategies for Israeli companies in China; Israel as a Gateway to the US market; Chinese investments in Israeli MedTech and BioTech companies; and a panel discussion about Israel-China partnership: One belt one road.
Elevator pitches by selected innovative Israeli companies will be held along the course of the conference. These companies will be given the opportunity to briefly introduce their products and solutions to potential investors, in the fields of technology, media, telecom and life sciences.
The GoforIsrael Achievement Prize will go to a senior personality, to honor his/her contribution to strengthening the hi-tech business between Israel and China.
Cukierman & Co.Investment House is the leading Israeli Cross-Border focused investment house, with a strong global network including many leading corporations, investors and financial institutions in key markets such as China, Europe, and beyond. Headquartered in Israel, the company provides a full array of investment banking services including M&A, Private Placements, Public Offerings, Consulting and Family Office Services to Israeli and European companies. With over 5.5 billion US $ in transactions, Cukierman & Co. has the largest Corporate Finance team in Israel with dedicated experts in the Life Sciences, Technologies, Media & Telecom (TMT), Green Technologies and Real Estate industries.
Catalyst is a top performing Israeli based private equity multi-fund firm founded in 1999. With over US$250 million under management, Catalyst funds support capital and long-term growth of innovative Israeli middle-market companies in global markets. Catalyst assists portfolio companies in reaching their targets by leveraging on the partners’ vast Israeli and Global network. Catalyst has invested in innovative companies and has a diversified portfolio, including companies from the Industrials, Telecommunications, Information Technologies, Enterprise Software, Medical Devices and Bio/Pharma industries.
For further information visit: GoforIsrael
- Written by Ministry of Economy
ISRAEL AND PANAMA COMPLETE NEGOTIATIONS ON FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
In 2016, Panama Will Join the List Of Countries with which Israel Enjoys Free Trade Agreements, Including the US, the EU, AFTA Countries, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay
JERUSALEM –November 26th, 2015 – Israel concluded negotiations with Panama on a free trade agreement: an Israeli delegation headed by the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy which included seven representatives from relevant government ministries held the fourth round of talks in Panama City between November16th -19th, 2015 and succeeded in bridging the remaining gaps between the sides and completing the talks.
Panama enjoys free trade agreements with several countries, including the US, the EU, Canada, AFTA countries, Singapore, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. The free trade agreement with Panama will put Israel in a similar position regarding trade benefits.
The agreement, which will include a clause on the services sector, represents another springboard for Israeli companies in the service industry (a field comprising 30% of all Israeli exports). Israeli companies will now be able to participate in this sector in Panama -- with an emphasis on software, communications, information security, engineering and research and development – and thus enjoy the potential of this and related markets. Negotiations took place within the framework of the Israeli Ministry of Economy's policy of expanding exports from Israel to new markets and the policy established in May, 2013 of tightening relations with Latin American countries.
In this latest round of talks, several work groups convened to discuss the following subjects: access to markets, customs and rules of origin, services, investments, protection of vegetation and livestock, trade obstacles and institutional issues. The agreement includes total reduction of customs on all industrial products (some will be reduced gradually over several years), partial lifting of tariffs on agricultural products and benefits for the export of services in various fields. The agreement is expected to take effect at the end of 2016.
With talks successfully concluded, Panama will join the list of countries with which Israel has signed trade agreements: the EU – since 1975, US – 1985, AFTA (Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Iceland) – 1992, Canada – 1997, Turkey – 1997, Mexico – 1999, MERCOSUR (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) – 2007, Colombia – (signed in 2013 but yet to be ratified by the Colombian government).
Ohad Cohen, Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, said: "The Ministry of Economy continues to strengthen Israel's economic ties with countries around the world, with an emphasis on developing economies with high growth potential. This will strengthen Israel's foothold in Latin America, in line with our policy of expanding export channels for Israeli industry and various services sectors. The agreement will open new possibilities for Israeli industry while giving a competitive edge to Israeli manufacturers. Panama is a candidate to become member of the Pacific Alliance, a bloc of Latin American countries comprising Mexico, Colombia (both countries with which Israel has free trade agreements), Chile and Peru. The bloc includes some 200 million people and a combined GDP of more than $3 trillion; it covers 35% of the GDP of all Latin American countries and more than 50% of Latin American trade."
Mrs. Yifat Alon Perel, Director of Bilateral Trade and Economic Agreements at the Foreign Trade Administration and head of the Israeli negotiating team, said: "Free trade agreements constitute a significant infrastructural framework for Israeli exports. Today, some 65% of Israeli exports are directed to countries with which Israel has free trade agreements and this gives exporters customs benefits and a competitive edge, among other advantages. The Foreign Trade Administration continues to act for the benefit of exporters by ensuring their products remain competitive and by creating better access to new markets. This is done by striving to remove trade obstacles exporters may encounter when trying to enter new markets. As of today, Israeli industry enjoys a competitive advantage in Latin America in exports to the Mercosur bloc which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Israel is the only non-Latin American country with an active free trade agreement with this important bloc. In addition, Israel has an active trade agreement with Mexico and two years ago signed a free trade agreement with Colombia which is expected to take effect in the coming year. Our goal is to expand the benefits Israeli industry enjoys to additional countries. The agreement with Panama will be the fourth one Israel has signed in Latin America. Strengthening economic relations with Panama is doubly important, both in opening new markets for Israeli industry but also in strengthening Israel's position among Latin American countries.”
According to the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, the economy of Panama is based mainly on a highly developed services sector, which represents more than three-quarters of the country's GDP, and includes management of the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Trade Zone, insurance, operation of the ports, shipping registration and tourism. The rate of economic growth in Panama reached 8.4% in 2013 and 6.2% in 2014, significantly higher than the average for Latin America and the Caribbean Islands (1.7% in 2014, according to World Bank data). Panama's growth is attributed among other things to the widening of the Panama Canal, begun in 2007 at a cost of $5.3 billion. Additional infrastructure development projects expected to take place may also draw Israeli companies with relevant experience.
The country's modest exports reach only $25 million, but may grow in light of the agreement and in light of Panama’s role as a bridge to other countries in the region.
Photos : Andrés Lacko