Investment pow-wow sends smoke signals through Haifa

American business delegations to Israel are commonplace - but the group that met with Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav last week to discuss investment opportunities was not the usual run of American visitors, reports A group of Native Americans from the Coushatta tribe of Louisiana toured the city to check potential investments, and afterwards declared that there was "a good chance" that they would return more quickly than they had thought. According to the report, it is the first time the Coushatta tribe, which makes most of its money from its successful casino in south-western Louisiana, has considered investing outside the United States. The Coushatta Casino Resort, located near Lake Charles and not far from the border with Texas, reportedly brings in millions of people and turns over about $140 million per year. The tribe numbers about 850 people. The report said the tribal delegation met with Yahav and toured the city, visiting the university, the Haifa Development Company and local companies. The group also received detailed explanations of development plans for the city. Afterwards, a spokesman said the group had met with companies involved in a range of fields, including bio-technology, high-tech, energy renewal and agriculture, and had found their activities "intriguing."