Last week, a delegation of Israeli tech leaders concluded a three-day visit to Stockholm, Sweden. Led by Erel Margalit, Founder and Chairman of JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners), the delegation, comprised of ten CEOs from leading Israeli tech firms, embarked on the mission to explore collaborative opportunities with their Swedish counterparts in response to an invitation from Marcus Wallenberg, a distinguished entrepreneur and business leader in Sweden.
Reflecting on the visit, Erel Margalit remarked, “This week marked a significant milestone for JVP in Sweden. Even during these challenging times for Israel, both domestically and globally, we convened ten of our premier companies to engage with Sweden’s top figures in technology, business, and government. The week commenced with a heartfelt experience as we were graciously hosted by the Wallenberg family, an occasion that resonated deeply with us as Jews and Israelis.”
The visit showcased a display of unity and partnership between the Israeli and Swedish tech sectors. Distinguished Swedish companies, including SAAB, Ericsson, and Scania, alongside prominent financial institutions and insurance firms, expressed their eagerness to connect with Israeli technological innovations. This collaboration extends back to JVP’s successful investment in Qliktech, a Swedish company that went public on NASDAQ, setting the stage for continued innovation and partnership.
Israel and Sweden currently maintain a robust bilateral trade relationship, characterized by trade in a variety of goods and services. Trade between the two nations stood at $147M in 2021. Key areas of trade collaboration include technology and innovation, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and telecommunications equipment. Both nations have a strong commitment to research and development, which has fueled collaboration in the high-tech sector. Israel’s dynamic startup ecosystem has attracted investments from Swedish companies, while Sweden’s multinational corporations have found value in Israel’s innovative solutions.
Additionally, Israel is a significant exporter of agricultural products, such as fruits and vegetables, to Sweden. There is a clear potential for further expansion of this bilateral trade partnership, particularly in areas such as clean energy, cybersecurity, healthcare, and sustainable agriculture. As both countries continue to invest in research and development and foster innovation, opportunities for increased trade and cooperation are likely to flourish, contributing to the growth of their respective economies.
During the visit, the delegation engaged in discussions with Swedish ministers, parliamentarians, and business leaders, including a meeting with the governor of Stockholm at Stockholm’s iconic City Hall, situated adjacent to the Royal Palace. The dialogues centered on technology and collaboration opportunities, emphasizing the Israeli high-tech sector’s pivotal role as a conduit for innovation and cooperation.
Erel Margalit added: “The Israel-Sweden connection is not only strong ideologically, but it’s also a testament to the deep friendship between our nations. Today, we bring a new level of collaboration, bridging technology, climate tech, and innovation. Meeting in the Swedish Parliament, alongside ministers and leaders, highlights the potential for government support in empowering joint ventures. Our focus is on the synergy between Israeli tech, climate action, and AI – the big themes of today. With 10 Israeli companies joining forces with Saab, Ericsson, and leading players in the Swedish ecosystem, we embark on an exciting journey to create greatness together.”
The companies that took part in the delegation were Earnix, ThetaRay, ControlUp, Akeyless, Pyramid, Appdome, AnyClime, InnovoPro and Kinoko.
Marcus Wallenberg, who presides over the Combient Group – a consortium of 35 major Nordic companies committed to advancing innovation, digitalization, and business development with a collective revenue of €195 billion and nearly 840,000 employees across various industries – hosted the delegation to expand the collaboration between the Israel and Nordic Countries and open a new gate for high-tech collaboration. Wallenberg’s family’s heroic efforts during the Holocaust and World War II, as well as his lifelong dedication to Sweden’s economic growth, exemplified the shared values and history that bind Israel and Sweden together.
Mats Agervi, CEO of Combient, said of the delegation: “Our collaboration with Israeli and Nordic companies is more than just a partnership; it’s the beginning of a global movement to combat climate change and enhance our world. To all Israeli startups, remember that launching in the Nordics is a remarkable path for international expansion. Here, you’ll find a thriving community and the opportunity to work alongside innovative Israeli counterparts. It’s a gateway to connect with major corporations operating on a global scale, propelling your growth not only in the Nordics but across the world. We eagerly anticipate your presence and the fruitful partnership we’ve forged with JVP.”
When queried about the ongoing struggle for democracy in Israel, Erel Margalit asserted, “Just as we stand guard to protect our nation’s borders, now is the time to defend our core values and the essence of our country. The Israeli high-tech sector goes beyond creating businesses and jobs; it champions values and education, and fosters citizen partnerships that facilitate creativity, diversity, democracy, and freedom.”