MARYLAND GOVERNOR Martin O’Malley.
(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley commended Israel’s way of dealing with terrorist attacks as he addressed 30 visiting business and academic leaders in Jerusalem on Sunday night.
O’Malley, who is mentioned as a likely future Democratic candidate for US president, noted that the United States had improved in its efforts to tackle terror, due in part to what the country had learned from Israel, making reference to last week’s terrorist attack in Boston.
One of the governor’s past visits was a study tour of Israeli homeland security. This trip is devoted to advancing business ties between Israel and Maryland.
At a dinner at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel he launched the Maryland-Israel Advisory Board to promote trade.
“Today, Israelis and Marylanders are partnering together on life-saving innovations that are sparking job creation, progress and advancement in the ways in which we feed, fuel and heal our changing planet,” O’Malley said at the event.
The Maryland-Israel Advisory Board will be co-chaired by Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman, who is from Silver Spring, Maryland. O’Malley said he was proud of Lipman for getting elected and called him his “landsman.”
“It’s special for me as a son of Maryland to welcome a delegation from Maryland as a Knesset member,” Lipman said.
“Both states are on the right path to tackle the challenges of our times.”
O’Malley is joined by more than 30 business, civic and higher education leaders on an eight-day trade mission to Israel and Jordan. The delegation will meet with President Shimon Peres, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and top Israeli businessmen.
The governor is also scheduled to visit the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
“As our economy strengthens, we know we must look beyond our borders for new avenues for trade and investment, particularly those countries – like Israel – that have invested heavily in supporting entrepreneurs and growing an Innovation Economy,” O’Malley said ahead of the trip.
“I look forward to traveling with this impressive group of educators, business and civic leaders as we work together to grow and expand our already strong trade and investment ties with Israel, and open new doors with Jordan’s business community.”
Maryland has long maintained ties with Israel, building on shared strengths in biotechnology, IT, aerospace and defense. About 20 Israeli companies maintain offices in Maryland, including Teva Bio- Pharmaceuticals, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and IMI Services (a subsidiary of Israel Military Industries).
In 2012, Israel was Maryland’s 43rd largest trading partner with $51.1 million in product exports, mostly chemicals, transportation equipment, and computer and electronic products.
“Israel and Maryland share common strengths in science and technology,” said Maryland/ Israel Development Center executive director Barry Bogage, who is coordinating the trip.
“We look forward to leveraging these strengths into more successes like ELTA’s recent decision to set up their North American headquarters in Maryland, bringing 100 hitech jobs to the state,” he said.