German delegation to seek local investment opps.

Bi-lateral trade with Germany rose by 10% to $3.8b. in the first three quarters of this year compared with the same period last year.

Senior executives of Germany's leading companies will be here next week to look for business cooperation and investment opportunities in the local market. "Local exports to Germany increased by 19 percent in the first three months of the year generated mainly from the fields of communications, electronics, plastics and pharmaceuticals. However, there is still room for additional German investments into Israeli companies and the local capital market," said the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, which is hosting the delegation together with the Israel Export Institute and Manufacturers Association of Israel. The group will meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai. As part of their visit, senior executives of German companies including Merck, Bayer, Siemens, Kaufhof and Mann will meet with counterparts in the local business community including representatives of Delta Galil Industries, the IVA, Osem, Keter, Makhteshim Agan, Israel Chemicals, Teva and Given Imaging. In addition, the business delegation will take part in a panel on "Israeli innovation" chaired by hi-tech guru Dr. Yossi Vardi. Bi-lateral trade with Germany - Israel's second largest trade partner after the US - rose by 10% to $3.8 billion in the first three quarters of this year compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, a Christian evangelical delegation of 40 business people from Canada, Australia and Europe have toured the country, visiting the Galilee, Sderot, Tiberias and Ashkelon to look for business and humanitarian investments into local projects ranging from infrastructure and hospitals to tourism. The delegation met with MK Avigdor Lieberman, MK Yuval Steinitz and local business representatives. In addition the delegation, headed by Joel Rosenberg, founder of the Joshua Fund - a non-profit organization founded to encourage Christian aid for Israel - committed to donate high sums to welfare and health projects and as a result the fund is expected to foster the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.