Governor completes third day of investment mission to Israel
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
JERUSALEM - After meeting with business executives in high-tech fields, Gov. Rick Snyder returned to Jerusalem on the third day of his Israel investment mission for the opening ceremonies of the country's annual Presidential Conference, "Facing Tomorrow."
"It is a tremendous honor to take part in this event and witness so many pay tribute to President Shimon Peres on his 90th birthday," Snyder said. "We started our day making the case to business executives that Michigan offers tremendous opportunities to Israel's many startup tech companies interested in bringing their products to market. It has been a memorable day on both fronts."
The opening ceremonies served as the kickoff for the fifth Israeli Presidential Conference held under the auspices of President Shimon Peres. The conference looks at the central issues that will influence the future, including geopolitics, economics, society, environment, culture, identity, education, new media and more.
Highlights of the opening ceremonies included tributes to Peres and a keynote speech by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Speakers at the three-day conference include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong and Prince Albert of Monaco.
In addition to attending the President's Conference, Snyder met with a group of emerging Israeli medical device and biotechnology companies to learn about their products and needs as they look to commercialize and move into markets outside of Israel.
The governor also toured the New Beginnings Program and Early Childhood Initiative in Netanya, a program started in part by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit to provide intervention and treatment services to Ethiopian-Israeli children. Later, he met with Israeli government officials to discuss cyber-security issues.
On Monday, Snyder met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss investment opportunities between Michigan and Israel. He and Israel's Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett signed a letter of intent between the state of Michigan and the state of Israel to establish bilateral cooperation in industrial research and development. Snyder also visited General Motors Advanced Technical Center Israel in Herzliya and met with executives from several automotive companies with Michigan ties.
He and the delegation will spend the rest of the week traveling to Nazareth, Haifa and the Galilee region to continue meeting with government leaders, business executives and university officials.
The Israel mission is being conducted at the invitation of the Israeli government and hosted by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. The Michigan Israel Business Bridge facilitated the meetings with company executives.
After four missions to Asia, Europe and Canada, this is Snyder's first as governor to the Middle East. The Israel mission is Snyder's fifth since taking office. He opened the Michigan Trade Center and met with business leaders in Toronto and met with Canadian government officials in Ottawa in November 2012. He led a 10-day trade mission to China in September 2012, a seven-day mission to Italy and Germany in March 2012 and an eight-day trade mission to Japan, China and Korea in September 2011.