Israel and Switzerland did over $2 billion worth of trade in 2006 and the countries are looking to improve on that number with the arrival Tuesday of a delegation of Swiss business representatives with the objective of boosting their economic cooperation with Israel.
The delegation, which consists of engineering giant ABB and other large Swiss engineering firms working in the field of energy and instrumentation, will meet with Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, Yechiel Assia, the director general of the Israel Export Institute, and with the deputy director of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, Boaz Hirsh. Among the topics that are to be discussed is the advancement of strategic economic cooperation between the two countries, new technologies in the engineering world and the addition of new Israeli companies operating in Switzerland.
Over the last year, Israeli companies have established 77 new branches in cities across Switzerland, representing six percent growth from 2005 and bringing the total number of Israeli companies in Switzerland to over 1,200.
Additionally, according to Ami Levin, Israel's commerce attache in Switzerland, exports of Israeli products to Switzerland have grown by 6% to $560 million dollars. Exports from Israel mostly consist of diamonds, machinery and optical equipment.
The Swiss deputy finance minister will be arrive with the group and meet with various members of Knesset as well as visiting the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, hot-houses in Ashkelon and the Osem-Nestle plant in Sderot.
In addition to ABB, 10 other Swiss companies and a representative from the Swiss Chamber of Commerce will be part of the the delegation.