Israel to sign trade agreement with 4 African states

Declaration on trade and economic cooperation will develop new export markets and help African countries build infrastructure and technology.

dale neill 88 (photo credit: )
dale neill 88
(photo credit: )
Israel will sign a declaration on trade and economic cooperation together with four African states next Wednesday to develop new export markets and to help the African countries build infrastructure and technology. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai will sign the declaration with the African leaders to promote commercial and economic cooperation with Rwanda, Burundi, Benin and Liberia. "Israel is a world leader in industry and technology across many fields such as renewable energy and agriculture," said Dale Neill, the Los Angeles-based president of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), which initiated the cooperation declaration, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. "The signing of the declaration is an expression of our trust and confidence in the Israeli economy and its ability to help African countries. What Africa needs, Israel has, and thus we believe that the cooperation will establish new export markets for Israel." The African delegation, including ministers of economic affairs, will arrive next in Jerusalem week to take part in a four-day international business congress titled "Approaching a New Era" starting on Monday. The congress initiated by the ICCC will bring together 500 business people and executives from 60 developing nations. On the Israeli side, the congress is organized by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, the Manufacturers Association of Israel, and the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute. President Shimon Peres will officially open the event on Tuesday. In the course of the congress, more than 400 individually pre-organized business meetings will be held to stimulate economic growth and to promote business and cooperation between Israeli businessmen, exporters and industrialists, the African nations, and the business delegates attending the congress. "Similar meetings in the past have produced business gains of $80 million," Neill said. "We expect that the business match-making meetings scheduled for the congress in Israel will generate business gains of about $150m." In the past the ICCC initiated several international business congresses, in Washington, Moscow, South Africa, Europe and Asia. The International Christian Chamber of Commerce is a global network of entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals based on Judeo-Christian values. It was founded in 1985 and represents millions of Christian businessmen from 102 nations. Separately, an Australian delegation of 50 business people headed by parliamentarian and Internet guru Evan Thornley, MP, will arrive in Israel on Sunday. The group will meet with leading Israeli companies, politicians and business personalities during its weeklong stay to explore possibilities for investment, trade and cooperation. In 1995, Thornley co-founded, along with his wife Tracey Ellery, an on-line advertising and technology startup called LookSmart. He became Australia's first Internet billionaire when he took the company public in 1999. "Thornley's current visit, heading this large and prestigious delegation, is a high point of the technology and business relationship between the two countries," said Paul Israel, director of the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce. "The caliber of the visiting group symbolizes both the success of the Australian commercial scene as well as the esteem in which Israeli technology companies are held."