U.S. Chamber of Commerce Leads First Business Delegation to Israel

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 8:00pm

U.S. Business Leaders Meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to Promote U.S.-Israeli Partnership in Life Sciences Sector

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President for International Affairs Myron Brilliant led the Chamber’s U.S.-Israel Business Initiative’s (USIBI) inaugural trade mission to Israel from March 25 through 27, bringing together top R&D executives from American companies to explore potential collaboration and partnerships in the life sciences field. On Sunday, members of the delegation met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to further discuss these prospective partnerships.

“For years, Israel has been a critical innovation hub for so many of the American technology giants – like Intel, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and others,” said Brilliant.  “One of the most promising areas of growth in our bilateral commercial alliance comes in the life sciences sector.  We were delighted to help lead a dialogue between the American life sciences industry, the Government of Israel, and the Israeli private sector to lay the framework for new avenues for partnership between our two countries.”

The delegation came on the heels of the Government of Israel’s announcement of the creation of a new program for foreign multinational life science companies to encourage and support research and development activities in Israel.  The USIBI’s senior business mission, in collaboration with the Government of Israel and the American Chamber of Commerce in Israel, has helped build a foundation for foreign life sciences companies to be a part of this burgeoning industry.

“There’s a real entrepreneurial spirit in Israel,” said Marc Perlman, global vice president of health care and life sciences at Oracle. “It’s clear Prime Minister Netanyahu is very excited about Israeli innovation. When it comes to bringing investment into this country, he gets it.”

Delegates engaged key government agencies, including the ministries of Health, Industry, Trade, Labor, Finance, the Office of the Chief Scientist, and the Office of the Prime Minister on key policy and programmatic areas relating to the sector.  Additionally, mission delegates toured medical, biotech, and pharmaceutical facilities across the country and led roundtable discussions on key policy and programmatic issues with Israeli stakeholders.

In the past year, the Chamber’s USIBI held meetings with a number of Israel’s top government officials, including Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and top economic advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Head of Israel’s National Economic Council Dr. Eugene Kandel. As a result of those meetings, USIBI and the Israeli government determined that there was significant opportunity to expand U.S. private sector investment in Israel’s research and development sector, specifically in the area of life sciences.

Launched in the fall of 2010, the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative (USIBI) is the only Washington-based national program focused on advancing the business partnership between the United States and Israel. The Initiative, which propels our alliance into one of the world's strongest innovation-based commercial relationships, is an important voice, advocate, and platform for the bilateral business relationship between the two countries.  For more information, visit www.usisraelbusiness.com.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.