Business Scene

In celebration of the 3rd anniversary of "Forbes Israel," Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of "Forbes Magazine" will come to Israel for a Forbes Israel conference on investments in accordance with E.V.A. rankings.

steve forbes 88 298 (photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
steve forbes 88 298
(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
IN CELEBRATION of the third anniversary of "Forbes Israel," Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of "Forbes Magazine" will come to Israel for a Forbes Israel conference on investments in accordance with E.V.A. rankings. Forbes is due to arrive in the first week of June. Widely considered to be one of the most influential of business publications, "Forbes Magazine" made its debut more than 90 years ago and today is published in nine different versions around the world. In addition to the US, "Forbes" is published in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Poland and Israel. The first issue of "Forbes Israel" hit the newsstands in June, 2004. Current sales average 22,000 copies per month. Content is 50 percent local and 50% international, with a heavy leaning towards the US economy. A candidate in the US Presidential primaries in 1996, Forbes is currently national co-chair and a senior policy adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. AFTER ALMOST two-and-a-half years at the helm of Africa Israel's Asia and Pacific Operations, Yaacov Ben Moshe has decided to resign and to go into private business. Ben Moshe joined Africa Israel in January 2005 when the company decided to broaden its activities in Asia and the Pacific. As a result of his work and his contacts, Africa Israel invested heavily in infrastructure and real estate in East Asia. AMONG THE fashion branches of the Africa Israel Group is Zara, the popular clothing outlet that is the flagship of the Spanish fashion group Inditex. Africa Israel purchased the Israeli rights to Zara in 2002. Even though Zara is trendy, sexy and sufficiently on the pulse of innovation to change or add to its collections every few weeks, the clientele at its Israeli outlets include haredim, because in between the low cut necklines and the high hemlines are a lot of classic styles that conform with the halachic rules of modesty. Recently, however, there was a hitch in the men's wear department when it was discovered that a certain range of suits were in violation of the Biblical prohibition regarding the wearing of shatnes - namely a mixture of wool and linen. It just so happens that Lev Leviev, who is the chairman of Africa Israel, is an Orthodox Jew who is fully aware of the implications of shatnes violation. When the matter was brought to his attention, he made no attempt at a cover-up. On the contrary, Zara placed advertisements in the haredi media apologizing for the error and promising to do all in its power to avoid such mistakes in the future. It also offered to refund the cost of shatnes inspections undertaken by anyone who purchased an offending outfit, and also to pay of the cost of removing the shatnes component from the outfit. GOT A favorite fashion label? You may find it or come across some pleasant surprises at the fashion fair at Pavilion Number One in the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds from May 24-26, when creations produced under leading brand names such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Billabong, Diesel, Levis, Lee Cooper, Wrangler, Tag Woman and Renuar will mingle with a lot of lesser known brands. The fashion fair, which has now become a twice-a-year tradition, attracts enormous crowds of people who are eager to purchase quality clothing, cosmetics and accessories at discount prices of up to 80%. Nitzan Kirschenbaum Productions, which has been running the fair for the past six years, says that attendance keeps growing from fair to fair. The anticipated attendance this time is around 60,000. Among the attractions is a designer boulevard featuring the collections of the cutting edge designers who run boutiques on Tel Aviv's Rehov Hahashmal. THE PRIME Minister of North-Rhine Westphalia, Dr. Jeurgen Ruettgers wants to improve the partnership between Israel and Germany and the European Union. Ruettgers headed a delegation that came to Israel last week to officially launch the North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) Fellowship program at IDC's Herzliya Center for European Studies. Ruettgers cited the EU as Israel's number one trading partner and called for a special EU status for Israel, which would significantly reduce tariffs. "The intent of Germany is to try to unify Europe to support Israel whenever possible and advisable," declared Ruettgers. "Europe has to choose a common foreign and defense policy," he continued, "the war in Iraq has made it clear that you can start out winning a war but not reach stability and peace." He also called for a common European military force as part of the common policy. Under the NRW Fellowship Program, two lecturers from Universities in North-Rhine Westphalia will teach classes in European and General Studies at IDC over the next three years. The first two the visiting fellows, Prof. Dietrich Thranhardt from Muenster University and Dr. Ulrich Johannes Rux from Ruhr University in Bochum accompanied Ruettgers to Israel. ECI TELECOM strongly believes in rewarding excellence and as part of this philosophy has selected 70 of its most outstanding employees for a weekend vacation with their spouses in Eilat. ECI also believes that when appreciation is shown it should be done in style so the hotel that was selected was Herod's. Company President and CEO Rafi Maor, was also on hand along with Atzmon Lifshitz, who heads the company's human resources division. REPORTERS WHO may have been under the impression that the Rand Corporation, which had been conducting a series of studies on how to build a successful Palestinian State, had pulled out after the second Intifada were disabused of that idea at a briefing given last week in Jerusalem by Rand representatives Doug Suissman and Ross Anthony to the Mideast Press Club. Suissman is an expert on urban planning and Anthony an expert on health. The study on building a successful and economically self-reliant Palestinian state was funded by David Richards, a Rhodes Scholar and Wall Street financier and his wife Carolyn; Guilford Glazer, a Jewish philanthropist who made his money building shopping malls in the Los Angeles area; and the Rand Corporation. According to Anthony, the Rand Corporation rejects funding from anyone who tells them what they want the final outcome to be. "The analysis is the guide to conclusions, not the policies of some pre-determined issue," said Anthony. One of the findings said, Suissman, is that a new Palestinian state is more likely to succeed if it has a high level of territorial contiguity. "The greater the level of contiguity of the state the better its chances to succeed," he underscored. Population growth of the West Bank and Gaza is likely to reach 6.6 million by 2020, according to demographic studies. Gaza, said Suissman, has one of the highest population densities in the world, with 9,200 people per square mile. For this reason, the Rand Corporation study recommends that the West Bank absorb additional population, because there is more land than in Gaza "and Gaza does not need one more person." What both Gaza and the West Bank need, he continued, is an infrastructure corridor called the Arc that will link them and create conditions for economic development, sustainable population growth and enhanced transport services such as an inter-urban train line and BRT bus-line similar to that in Bogota, health and education reforms, water and energy resources, governance, security and a guarantee to end corruption. Suissman stressed the importance of having a cohesive plan. "So many donor countries and donor entities have each come with their own plan and their own free-standing projects with very little connection," he noted. DISCOUNT BANK has announced a series of promotions in which several deputy managers heading various departments have been upgraded to senior deputy managers. They include Linda Ben Shoshan, who heads customer finances; Israel David, the head of retailing; Eli Hoter, the head of marketing and strategic planning; Yossi Brassi, the head of the accounts department who has been promoted to comptroller; and Noam Hanegbi, the head of operation and information services. In addition, Etty Deutsch, the bank's legal adviser, has been appointed deputy to the bank's general manager. AFTER EIGHT years as general manager of Bank of Jerusalem, David Baruch has decided to step down to seek out new horizons and challenges. Baruch came to Bank of Jerusalem in 1999 after having served for three years as head of the investment center at the Ministry for Industry, Trade and Labor. He was previously deputy head of the budgets division in the Finance Ministry. LABOR MK and former President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Prof. Avishay Braverman has been elected to stand at the head of a not-for-profit organization that is under the umbrella of the Senior Citizens' Federation, which is headed by former MK Gideon Ben Israel. Braverman, 59, an economist by profession, who worked for 14 years as a consultant to the World Bank, will assist the SCF in its efforts to recruit funding for welfare needs and cultural activities for Israel's aging population, which is rapidly increasing with the general tendency for people to live longer. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, nearly 10% of Israel's citizens are seniors. THERE HASN'T been much sleep lately for Liad Cohen, the managing director of Tnuva's dairy division. Case in point: After he finished listening to a concert of Israeli songs at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park, of which Tnuva was one of the key sponsors, posing for photos with performers and with Science, Culture and Sport Minister Ghaleb Majadle. Cohen drove to Tnuva's logistics center in Petah Tikva and from there joined Tnuva Marketing Manager Hagit Adler on a morning round of super market shelves to ensure that the company's products were properly displayed and to monitor consumer preferences for dairy products in general and brand names in particular.