Business Scene

British Israeli real estate tycoon Michael Gross received a special citation from IAEJ in recognition of his tremendous contribution to its work.

nov 20 biz scene 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
nov 20 biz scene 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
GERMANY'S FEDERAL Minister for Finance Peer Steinbruck will be the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship awarded by The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, at a special ceremony scheduled to take place this coming Thursday, November 22 on the IDC Herzliya campus. Minister Steinbruck will also deliver a lecture following greetings by IDC Herzliya President, Prof. Uriel Reichman and German Ambassador Dr. Harald Kindermann. This event will be followed by the dedication of the Olga Radzyner Chair in Legal Studies. Former President of the Supreme Court, Aharon Barak, will deliver the keynote address. AT A gala dinner at the Dan Panorama Hotel, Tel Aviv, hosted by Prof. Koudou Kessie Raymond, the Ambassador of the Ivory Coast, as part of the Ivory Coast Week highlights, the Ambassador, his country's First Lady Simone Gbagdo and Israel's Ambassador to the Ivory Coast Daniel Kedem, all made a point of impressing upon the guests how hospitable the country is, how much business potential there is and what it has to offer to tourists. "You will be welcome and you will profit," said Raymond, who was optimistic that the week's meetings between representatives of his country and members of Israel's business community would lead to much closer cooperation on many fronts. "We came to tell you that we need you to show you that we have a developing economy in which you can play a part," said Gbagdo, adding that Israeli investments and joint ventures in the Ivory Coast could be mutually beneficial. "We have an open door for cooperation," she said. MOST OF the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union are eager to develop economic relations with Israel, especially in areas of high technology. Kazakhstan is so keen, that it has established a representative office in Israel headed by Andrey Zeman. The office is actually that of JSC Sustainable Development Kazyna, which includes the joint stock company of the National Innovation Fund, which conducts projects in support of innovation activity in Kazakhstan. Founded in 2003, the fund became part of Kazyna in May, 2006. The Israel office is Kazyna's second overseas branch. The first was opened in Germany. Eliezer Sandberg, a former MK and a former minister of Science and Technology and of National Infrastructure is chairman of the NIF Board of Directors, in which capacity he chaired a meeting in Jerusalem last week at which NIF Chairman Nurbek Rayev signed agreements with Ethos Networks CEO Yuval Davidor, Extricom CEO Gideon Rotem and WiNetworks CEO Effi Atad. The signing of the agreements also provided yet another opportunity for Kazyna President Kayrat Kelimbetov to come to Israel and to talk about hi-tech cooperation between Israel and to outline Kazakhstan's ten-year plan for growth and sustainable development. NIF capital currently stands at $260 million, with ten venture capital funds invested and five technoparks to its credit. NIF began working with Vertex in October 2006, and then with start-ups Ethos Networks in August, 2007, Extricom in September, 2007 and WiNetworks in October 2007. After the signing ceremony at Jerusalem's King David Hotel, the key players in NIF paid a call on President Shimon Peres, who is an outspoken admirer of Kazakhstan's President Nasrsultan Nazarbayev, not to mention an enthusiastic proponent of hi-tech and bilateral joint ventures. Peres suggested that Kazakhastan invest in nanotechnology, water technologies and agricultural technology. The NIF is currently in negotiation with the Haifa Technion for investments in some of its incubator projects. LITERATURE DISTRIBUTED at the Polish National Day and Polish Armed Forces Day reception hosted by Ambassador Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska and Defense Attache Col. Ireneusz Drazyk included the Wroclaw Expo to be held in 2012, indicating how far Poland has come since it unleashed itself from Communist rule. But the Expo 2012 promotional brochure backtracks beyond that period to August 1980, when the Solidarity Movement was launched and states that no-one expected at that time that 25 years later, Poland would be a member of NATO and the EU. More than that, Poland has become a thriving economy with many foreign investors, including a large representation from Israel. There may be even more foreign investments as an outcome of Expo 2012 which is encouraging foreign participation on the theme of "The Culture of Leisure in World Economies." Exhibits will focus on traditions and achievements connected with culture and the leisure industry. The estimated value of the current leisure market in the US is $2.1 trillion. Tourism is definitely a leisure industry. The global value of travel and tourism in 2007 is estimated at $7.06 trillion, moving up to $13.23 trillion in 2003. In China, the travel and tourism industry provides employment for 72.5 million people. In conjunction with the Expo, Wroclaw will host three of the Euro 2012 football matches. Matches will also be hosted in Gdansk and Poznana as well as in four cities in the Ukraine. THE INSTITUTE for National Security Studies (INSS) has established a dedicated television studio connected to the JCS Group's International Communications Centers in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, enabling global broadcasts of live transmission of conferences, lectures and other events. The Institute's connection to JCS's International Communication Centers was made by a direct fiber optic line. In taking this measure, the Institute has joined other bodies and organizations such as the IDF Spokesman's Office, the Government Press Office and the Foreign Ministry, which are all directly connected to JCS's Communication Centers, along with most of the major foreign news networks represented in Israel such as CNN, BBC, Sky, Fox and others, as well as the news bureaus of channels 2 and 10 that maintain offices in JCS's Centers. Hanani Rapoport, Vice President of JCS Group and Manager of JCS News, Production Facilities and Transmission Division said that the Institute's link is another value added service that Jerusalem Capital Studios provides for its foreign network clients. The Institute for National Security Studies is an academic center affiliated with the University of Tel Aviv. It researches key issues related to the national security of the State of Israel. JEWISH AGENCY chairman Zeev Bielski and Nir Barkat, a member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council, will speak about Business Opportunities in Jerusalem and Personal Achievements at the Second Conference of the Council of Immigrant Associations in Israel to be held this coming Wednesday, November 21 at 6 p.m. in the Weizmann Hall of the Jewish Agency Building in Jerusalem. ISRAEL'S AMBASSADOR to the United States, Sallai Meridor and his wife No'a hosted a luncheon in their home for supporters of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design- Washington Committee and members of the diplomatic community. Guests of honor included internationally acclaimed fashion designer Sigal Dekel and other Shenkar graduates. The luncheon featured a program showcasing the graduates' success stories. Chairwoman of the event, Fani Brandenburg, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Committee for Shenkar College in Israel, was assisted by Co-Chairs, Lisa Cannon and Sharon Wilkes, Shenkar International Board of Governors member and American Committee Board member. It was announced that the Washington Committee has established a scholarship fund for needy students at Shenkar College. IN OTHER Shenkar news, Dana Azrieli has been named as the new head of Shenkar's Board of Governors. Azrieli, a Canadian who settled in Israel seven years ago, has been actively involved with Shenkar since 2004, but certainly has the experience to take over the leadership of the Board of Governors. Prior to making aliya, she managed the American branch of Canpro Investments which is owned by her family, operates primarily in the US and Canada and owns prestige shopping centers, and luxury office buildings. Today she is vice president of the Azrieli Group of Shopping Malls and Real Estate Developers and also sits on the Board of Directors of Granit Carmel Investments which has four large subsidiaries: Sonol, Supergas, Tambour and GES. She is also the CEO of the Israeli branch of the Azrieli Foundation. BRITISH ISRAELI real estate tycoon Michael Gross, who is co-chairman of the Israeli branch of the International Youth Awards in which capacity he brought Prince Edward to Israel, received a special citation from the Institute for the Advancement of Education in Jaffa in recognition of his tremendous contribution to its work. A similar citation was awarded to Raya Strauss, who like Gross, supports many youth and education oriented institutions, organizations and projects. The awards were presented at a gala fund-raiser at the Avenue in Airport City, attended by members of the local and international business community, who paid $10,000 per ticket to attend. Among those present were Michael Strauss, Shlomo Eisenberg, Liora Ofer, Izzy Borovich, Leon Recanati, Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Natan Wallach and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger. HOW MANY shopping malls are there in Israel? Well it depends on how you define mall. Mamilla developer Alfred Akirov wanted to call his avenue of shops a mall, but the Jerusalem City Council said "niet." The reason: If it's a mall, he can close it at his discretion, but the way in which this particular project is built makes it a bridge between east and west, and the powers that be at City Hall don't want him to lock the gates on Shabbat. Whatever the definition of a mall, there are currently 350 or so CEOs of malls and major retail outlets in Israel meeting in Eilat at the Queen of Sheba Hotel in what has developed into an annual gathering. The first such conference, initiated by Gan Ha'Ir CEO Dedi Rizal, was so successful that participants asked him to organize another. CEOs who had not attended the first event, on learning of how much they had missed, were quick to sign up this time around to participate in discussions on marketing, advertising, customer service, data systems, negotiation management, new policies and legislation.