Celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, German’s leading industry leaders will enjoy a 2-day innovation conference with cutting-edge Israeli researchers.
By Shlomo Cesana
While many in Europe are calling for a boycott of Israel, a delegation of 100 German industry leaders is preparing for a trip to Israel to meet with top businesspeople in an extraordinary show of support for the Jewish state, marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Some of the companies to be represented in the group that arrives in 10 days’ time are SAP SE, BMW, Bosch, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Merck & Co., Inc., Mercedes-Benz and Lufthansa.
The German visitors will spend two days in Tel Aviv for events organized with the participation of the economy ministers from Germany and Israel. On the first day, they will attend an investors’ conference, where they will meet industry leaders, CEOs and owners of large Israeli companies. The second day will focus on innovation, and guests will speak with cutting-edge Israeli researchers.
Israel’s commercial attaché in Berlin, Hemdat Sagi, told Israel Hayom that “in recent years, Germany is becoming more and more open to innovation and more interested in what’s going on in Israel. This is true both on a governmental level and a business level.”
According to Sagi, “Large companies like Deutsche Telekom, Merck and SAP SE, are already conducting R&D activities in Israel. The job of the commercial office in Berlin is to bring new partners to cooperate with Israeli companies and to enjoy the interesting synergies being formed with the Israeli market.”
Five years ago, Israel and Germany signed an agreement to fund joint projects in the fields of biotechnology, water and environmental technology, and security and defense technology. Now, efforts are being made to connect mid- and smaller-sized companies.
Senior German and Israeli officials attending the two-day conference in Tel Aviv will also visit an exhibition organized by Berlin’s Israel Trade Center. The exhibition will feature German products from 50 years ago, when diplomatic relations with Israel just began, alongside more modern German products. For example, old and new Bosch drills will be on display, as well as an old Siemens telegraph and the latest Audi concept car.
The exhibition will also showcase the joint works of Israeli artist David Gerstein and German artist Otmar Alt, as well as a winter fashion show by German designer Marc Cain.
Economy and Trade Minister Aryeh Deri said, “The [German] industry leaders’ visit is an important sign of good faith.”
He added that “Germany is currently Israel’s chief trade partner in Europe. The innovation day organized by foreign trade officers at the Economy and Trade Ministry is expected to create new partnerships and cooperation and to strengthen the important ties between the countries.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday with British anti-boycott activist Dr. Qanta Ahmed in Jerusalem. Also present at the meeting was Likud MK Anat Berko who helped initiate the Knesset conference this week on the importance of combatting the delegitimization of Israel.
Netanyahu said that it is very important to hear voices such as Ahmed’s around the world and added that she represents the truth and is not afraid to fight for it against the lies and the hatred. “You are a true friend of the State of Israel,” he told her.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=26283