Although Israel is known as a high-tech country, achievements in agriculture are still worth marketing.

tomato 88 (photo credit: )
tomato 88
(photo credit: )
DAILY REPORTS about the faltering fortunes of some of the most affluent people in the world, including several Israelis, coupled with updates about mass dismissals does not mean that everyone is in the same boat. The Israel Police, which is trying to improve its negative image, this week announced 1,600 job vacancies - not just for rookies who will be pounding the pavement, but also for lawyers who will be dealing with investigative reports. Even though people are cutting down on spending and are beginning to exclude luxury products from their purchases, Shufersal (formerly known as Super-Sol) has seen fit to invest NIS 7 million in the opening of two more subsidiary branches - Shufersal Sheli in Herzliya and Yesh in Acre. Similarly Ace Autodepot has invested NIS 4m. to open its 51st branch, which will be in Moshav Shilat, home to a number of business enterprises. Sahoot, which specializes in freshly squeezed fruit juices, has opened four new branches at an investment of NIS 1.5m. in Tel Aviv, Kiryat Ono, Rishon Lezion and Rehovot and plans to open another two branches by the end of the year. In addition, it has earmarked NIS 2.5m. to open seven more branches in 2009. Sahoot anticipates that by the end of this year, its sales turnover will be up 30 percent from last year's NIS 18m. in sales. Israel is obviously a very thirsty country. In London this week, President Shimon Peres, a former finance minister, marketed Israel as a country in which to invest because its economic stability is better than elsewhere. On the same day, that Peres was extolling Israel's economic virtues to the City of London, Aztec Technologies, one of the largest software resellers in Israel, specifically in the domain of programs that offer solutions for Symantec products, announced that its third-quarter sales had surpassed the target by 35%. And while stocks were falling on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Teva Pharmaceuticals rose this week on the home front and continued to enter into new agreements abroad. The Strauss Group reported increased profits of 7% in the third quarter. These companies are far from being the exception to the rule. There are many others still doing well despite the world financial crisis, which is really the best way to market Israel as a country in which to do business. AS AN indicator that non-Israelis with lots of money are still ready to spend in Israel, Gindi Holdings this week reported the sale of a 347-square-meter triplex with a private, rooftop swimming pool at Gindi Heights in Ramat Gan for NIS 11m. Its new owner is an Indian diamond merchant who travels back and forth between Israel and India. TO ADD to the success stories, Coliseum Tel Aviv, an exclusive club for Israelis who like to live high on the hog (pardon the expression), is spending NIS 500,000 on a grand opening on Thursday. Entry is strictly for the 350 card-carrying members who owner Haim Pinchas has attracted since totally refurbishing the extensive but sadly neglected premises sandwiched in the heart of the hotel belt on the Tel Aviv beachfront. Members of the club will get to see and hear sultry singer Crystal Waters, who Pinchas has brought to Israel for a 48-hour stopover. Even though the club is exclusive, and one really has to be in the money to afford a meal, Pinchas wanted to share the excitement of the opening with the rest of Tel Aviv; at midnight he will light up the sky with a half-hour fireworks display that will be visible throughout the whole city. ALTHOUGH ISRAEL is largely known as a high-tech country, achievements in agriculture are still admirable and worth marketing; besides, its modern agricultural saga is more dependent on technology than on sweat or miracles. Some of Israel's agricultural successes will be published around the world following the visit next week by a group of 40 journalists, including television crews, who will spend three days inspecting irrigation systems, new plantings, dairies, and agricultural research and development projects from the Negev to the Galilee. The journalists will be coming from China, India, Turkey, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, France, Ethiopia, South Africa, Brazil, Peru, Tanzania, Senegal and elsewhere. They are being brought to Israel ahead of Agritech 2009 to promote interest in their respective countries about what Israel has to offer in agricultural technology.