(photo credit: Courtesy Bar-Ilan University)
The US Chamber of Commerce is launching a new business initiative aimed at
educating the US business community about Israeli innovation and boosting
bilateral trade and commercial relations.
“Large Israeli companies have
strong commercial ties with the US, but the country’s story as a leading
innovation capital of the world is a story not well enough known across the
mainstream business community in the US. We want to show the faces of trade of
Israel,” Leslie Schweitzer, senior trade advisor at the US Chamber of Commerce,
told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday in Tel Aviv. “The global economic crisis is
forcing US businesses to look outside its borders for innovation, and Israel is
the place they can find opportunities for synergies.”
Business Initiative is the first Washington, DC-based national effort to advance
and strengthen USIsrael commercial relations.
The initiative will be
officially launched at a conference by the US Chamber of Commerce on October 19
in Washington, marking 25 years since the Free Trade Agreement was signed
between the US and Israel.
The conference will be attended by a
high-profile delegation from Israel including Industry, Trade and Labor Minister
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, government officials and representatives from Israeli
companies, as well as US government officials and US business
The US Chamber of Commerce, which is funded by its
members, is one of the world’s largest private-sector organizations,
representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes,
sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry
“Our focus will be on educating US businesses, in
particular small- and medium-sized enterprises, on the amazing innovation in
Israel and provide guidance for cooperation and joint ventures,” Schweitzer
“We are planning to launch a massive communications campaign and
run road shows outside Washington – in the Midwest, Detroit, Minneapolis and
other regions – to present business opportunities in Israel and how to connect
Israeli innovation to American companies,” she said.
Schweitzer is a
pioneer in the international trade arena, who as senior trade advisor for the US
Chamber of Commerce, created the TradeRoots Initiative, a national grassroots
international trade education program.
The initiative would also organize
trade missions to Israel in an effort to connect US business leaders to Israeli
innovation, businesses and government, and vice versa, she said.
sectors of interest for investing and partnering with Israel include green-tech,
especially water energy, hi-tech and financial services, Schweitzer
“US businesses can learn from Israel as far as innovation is
concerned and how to sustain start-up companies,” she said. “On the
we want to encourage Israeli companies invest in the US and help them
Israel is one of America’s leading trading partners,
importing approximately $15 billion a year in US-produced goods and
exporting $25b. in goods and services to the US.
Last year, Israel was
America’s 22nd largest export market, ahead of Russia, Ireland, Spain