News release from the governor’s office:
TEL AVIV – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development (ECD) Commissioner Randy Boyd are on a business trip to Israel focused on expanding relationships between the Tennessee and Israeli business communities, encouraging bilateral trade and investment opportunities specifically focused on high tech, biotech and health care firms.
Israel attracts significant venture capital investment and is particularly strong in start-up and commercialization activity.
“This is a great chance to tell the Tennessee story to Israeli businesses large and small. Israel has become known as the start-up nation due to the enormous amount of entrepreneurial activity happening here, and we have formed a lot of relationships that can be mutually beneficial,” Haslam said.
“During this incredibly productive trip our delegation has experienced more than a hundred interactions with entrepreneurs, investors, and market leaders in the ‘start up nation,’” Boyd said. “I am excited about Tennessee’s new business connections and the opportunities that will arise as a result.”
In addition to Haslam and Boyd, the Tennessee delegation includes 18 leaders from Tennessee businesses and research institutions. They are meeting throughout the week with Israeli peers from research institutions, government, venture capital firms and businesses.
On Tuesday Haslam met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and today met with former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
“Conversations with leaders like Prime Minister Netanyahu and former President Peres are very helpful in understanding international economic development opportunities and challenges,” Haslam said.
Tuesday Haslam rang the opening bell at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).
The governor participated in a wreath laying ceremony Monday at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Today Haslam visited Kibbutz Ein Hashofet north of Tel Aviv, where the Clinton, Tenn.-based company, MAG, was founded, and met with leadership of ORT Israel, the leading educational network of comprehensive schools in Israel which specialize in the high-tech and science fields, similar to Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs).