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(photo credit: Courtesy Israel Venture Association)
The telecommunications sector generated the most interest during a Finnish business delegation's visit to Israel this week, as the two countries sought to create new opportunities for business cooperation.
"The telecommunications industry, and particularly the wireless sector, has been mentioned again and again during the Finnish visit this week," Israel Venture Association President Yoram Oron told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday. "Both countries feel they are strong in wireless technology, which has been the unique common denominator during the visit."
Oron added that the delegation also showed "surprising" interest in the Israeli life sciences industry.
Representatives from over 20 companies from Finland, of which approximately half were from venture capital-related firms, arrived in Israel Monday for a three- day visit, which follows a general Nordic VC delegation to Israel last year.
Oron explained that while there still had been no real Finnish VC investments in Israel to date, the idea of these visits was to start a process that could lead to co-investments between Finnish and Israeli VC firms, and partnerships between technology companies.
"All the signs are there that we want to cooperate and syndicate more, and look for companies to invest in here," Pekka Roine, head of the Finnish Business Delegation, told the Post referring to last year's VC visit and this week's follow up. "I think Israel is of interest to every technology company in the world."
Earlier this week, the Manufacturers Association of Israel said Nokia was seeking to create partnerships with Israeli telecommunications companies during the visit.
Roine said the visitors also were seeking to learn about the Israeli R&D model.
"Finland, like Israel, is a very small country with high R&D investment, and we were very keen to see how Israel has succeeded so well in that space," he said. "I think that many Finnish technology companies are interested to learn about the commercialization success of the Israeli companies. Here you not only create exciting technologies, you also manage to sell it."