IT'S ALL in the family. Jason Arison, 27, the eldest son of Shari Arison is following in the footsteps of his mother and grandfather, the late Ted Arison. Shari Arison announced this week that she has appointed him CEO of the Ted Arison Foundation, which she will continue to chair.
Jason does not come to his new position cold turkey. He has been working within the Arison Foundation for five years in a variety of positions to prepare him for a total hands-on role, and a complete in-depth comprehension of what the Foundation stands for and what it is doing. Shari said she was sure Jason would do well in his new role and that he would carry on the family tradition of philanthropy, as she had promised her father. When he returned to Israel in 1991 after a long sojourn in the US, where he made his fortune, Ted Arison decided that the Arison Foundation, which he had established several years earlier in Miami, would donate primarily to causes in the fields of health, research, education, children at risk, the disabled, underprivileged communities, art, etc. Shari has kept faith with her father's wishes, and she is sure Jason will do likewise. The Foundation distributes some $25 million each year to organizations in Israel and abroad and since its inception has disbursed more than $850m.
ONE OF the pioneers of Israeli investments in Eastern Europe in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Iron Curtain was real estate developer, hotelier and shipping magnate Yuli Ofer, who also has interests in energy, semiconductors, tourism, leisure, banking, chemicals and phosphates, hi-tech and more. Ofer invested heavily in shopping malls and prestige residential projects in his native Romania and in Hungary. Now, through his CEE company, as published in The Jerusalem Post on Monday, he is extending his East European reach to Serbia. CEE announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of 40,000 sq.m. of land in the heart of the Serbian capital of Belgrade, where the company plans to put up a project that includes a high class residential complex, a modern shopping mall, an office block and a five-star hotel. For this purpose, CEE will establish a subsidiary in partnership with a Serbian company, with CEE retaining 68 percent of the shares and the Serbian company 32%. The agreement is due to be finalized within the next four months and construction is due to begin in mid-2008, with CEE giving the Serbian company a down payment of â‚¬45m. by way of a loan. CEE, one of several Ofer companies, was founded in 2001, and focuses on real estate.
IF ANYONE has any doubts about the strength of the Israel economy, they should sit back and look at the number of foreign trade missions coming to Israel, the number of foreign delegates coming to major Israeli economic conferences and the number of bilateral economic conferences with heads of foreign missions and government ministers from foreign countries participating. At least two conferences in the latter category are being held this week, plus several conferences in the other categories. On Wednesday, November 7, the Israel-Africa Chamber of Commerce will celebrate 50 years of economic cooperation between Israel and the African states at a conference at the Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv, with Ambassador Peter Gabriel head of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa and President Shimon Peres addressing the final session. Other participants include Nana Owusu-Nsiah, the Ambassador for Ghana, and representatives of major Israeli companies that do business with and in Africa. A senior economic mission from Africa participated in the WATEC conference last week, and next week Prof. Koudou Kessie Raymond, the Ambassador of the Ivory Coast, will host a business-to-business symposium at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv that will be attended by Simone Gbagdo, the First Lady of the Ivory Coast, as well as Leon Emmanuel Monnet, Minister for Mines and Energy.
ON THURSDAY, November 8, Marian Lupu, chairman of the Parliament of Moldova will participate in a Moldova-Israel Economic forum at ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The event has been organized by the Embassy of Moldova, and Ambassador Larisa Miculet will have her hands full attending to the accompanying delegation, which includes Pavel Buceatsch, Deputy Minister for Informational Development; Anatol Spivacenco, Deputy Minister for the Agriculture and Food Industry; Gheorghe Cucu, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova; and Lilia Russu, Executive Director of the Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization, as well as leading business people from various fields of Moldovan industry. The forum will conclude with presentation and tasting of the best of Moldova's wines, including kosher beverages, accompanied by a unique performance by renowned Moldovan pan-pipe performer Vasile Iovu.
AND NEXT week, on November 15, British Ambassador Tom Phillips will open his residence for a breakfast seminar to be hosted by the London Stock Exchange under the patronage of Collins Stewart Israel. The seminar on the future of AIM and the LSE will be addressed by Joel Plasco, CEO of Collins Stewart and other speakers. Since 2004, there have been more than 40 IPOs of Israeli or Israel-related companies from across a broad range of sectors on the London Stock Exchange. Some of these companies have chosen to list on AIM, others on the main market. While some have issued shares, others have listed Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs). In addition, some of these companies are dual-listed in Tel Aviv. In short, there is diversity in terms of size, sector, market, transaction-type and investor base. The seminar will provide a review of the last three years' activity and discussion will focus on what succeeds in the market and what the future may hold.
AFTER WORKING for and with others, Nava Inbar has set up her own public relations consulting firm. Inbar, who began her career in PR with Ran Rahav and rose to be deputy manager of his firm, subsequently spent four years as spokesperson for the Israel Cancer Association and then moved on to become a partner in the Yael Cooper public relations firm, which recently disbanded following Cooper's decision to become an entrepreneur in new medical technologies. Inbar, whose area of expertise is health care, writes many articles on health care in Israeli publications and has received widespread recognition for her work, including the prestigious Roaring Lion award of the Israel Public Relations Association. In 2006, she was selected by Lady Globes as one of the 50 most influential women in Israel. Her new firm will gear itself towards hospitals, professional health care organizations and associations, commercial enterprises that manufacture medications and other health products, etc. Inbar and her team will engage in spokesmanship, consultancy and crisis management.
A GRANT enabling the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to pioneer the establishment of a permanent Korean Studies Program in institutions of higher learning in Israel, will be formalized this week by Ambassador Yim Sung-joon, president of the Korea Foundation, who will also provide a perspective on prospects for peace on the Korean Peninsula when he speaks at the Hebrew University this Thursday. Sung-joon, who will speak in English, will relate to the broader implications of the summit meeting held in October between North and South Korea, at which the leaders of the two Koreas signed a declaration affirming their desire to establish peace on the Korean peninsula and to work for cooperation in various spheres. Among other topics, Sung-joon is expected to touch on the North Korean nuclear issue which is now of particular interest due to recent reports regarding North Korean-Syrian nuclear connections. Peace and cooperation between the two Koreas may also pave the way for North Koreans to enjoy the economic standards that have been built up by the South Koreans, not to mention strong trade relations with many countries.
Sung-joon is an experienced diplomat who has been a key player in shaping South Korean foreign relations and security policy. He has served as an ambassador, as deputy foreign minister and as senior secretary to the president for foreign policy and national security. He is said to be a leading candidate for the post of South Korea's next foreign minister. The ceremony for the grant by the Korea Foundation to the university will take place on Friday, November 9, at 8:45 a.m. at the Belgium House Faculty Club on the Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram, of the Hebrew University. The lecture will take place the previous day in the Bronfman Center on the university's Mount Scopus campus.
IT'S GOING to be celebrity night at Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel tonight, Tuesday, November 6, when stars from the entertainment industry, politicians, household names from the communications industry and leading business figures come together for the launch of the winter campaign to promote culture in and tourism to the capital. The event, which is the initiative of the Jerusalem Tourism Authority, is a gift to the city by real estate developer and entrepreneur Alfred Akirov who owns the David Citadel Hotel and the adjacent Mamilla shopping arcade, which is part of a complex that will soon include an additional hotel plus private residences. Akirov was cheesed off with Jerusalem for quite a long time because of the obstacles put in his way by the Karta Development Company, which sought to prevent him from including a cinema bank in the Mamilla project. Akirov lost a great deal of potential income as did the municipality, which missed out on eight years of rates and taxes, which would have come to a very pretty penny. Akirov was so disillusioned with Jerusalem that he said he would never invest in the city again. But once Karta was out of the way, the Mamilla project rapidly began to take shape and at the opening of the first phase, a visibly emotional Akirov, who has some highly prestigious projects both in Israel and abroad to his credit, said that Mamilla was the most important project on which he had ever embarked.
Providing a harmonious, aesthetic link between east and west Jerusalem, the Mamilla Arcade is frequented by Jews, Muslims and Christians with no signs of friction. The campaign to be launched tonight is a project within the framework of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the reunification of Jerusalem. The campaign which aims to familiarize non-Jerusalemites with the city includes three weekends from mid-November to the beginning of December in which there will numerous cultural events and activities including outdoor concerts. In addition to Akirov and the Jerusalem Tourism Authority, the campaign is being supported by the Ministry for Tourism, the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Deborah Foundation, the New Jerusalem Foundation, the Jerusalem Hotels Association, the David Citadel Hotel and the Mamilla project. Among the celebs who have promised to attend are Ran Danker, Anna Aharonov, Lior Narkis, Zvika Pik, Kobi Oz, Tzipi Shavit, Tuvia Tsafir, Margalit Tsaanani, Ahlomi Seranga, Yigal Shilon and many others.