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October 13, 2015 / 30 Tishri, 5776
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Japanese Minister of Economy Signs First Ever Industrial Agreement with Israel

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JERUSALEM -Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshimitsu Motegi, arrived in Israel yesterday (Jul. 6) with a delegation of Japanese industrialists and signed a first of its kind industrial research and development (R&D) collaboration agreement with Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett. Israel is the first country with which Japan has signed such an agreement.

The delegation came to Israel following an invitation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Motegi met during Netanyahu’s recent visit to Japan. The Japanese minister is heading a delegation including top level representatives of Japanese industry as well as senior representatives of Japan’s Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, which oversees Japanese industry, industrial R&D, and cyber technology. Minister Motegi and Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett signed a collaboration agreement for reciprocal support in joint industrial R&D projects between Israeli and Japanese companies and organizations. The agreement will be implemented by the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Israeli Ministry of Economy.

The delegation will also participate in a seminar in which opportunities for commercial cooperation between the two states will be presented. The seminar, organized by the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), will be presided over by Minister Motegi and the Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Economy Amit Lang. Participants include Israeli businesspeople and representatives of the Japanese companies in the delegation.

“We are constantly looking for ways to strengthen our economic ties throughout the world, as exemplified by this R&D agreement,” Minister Bennett said. “This is a breakthrough achievement. The agreement creates an excellent platform for joint initiatives, innovation and for Israeli companies to enter the Japanese market.”

“At a time when the largest Japanese companies are searching for new engines of growth via business and technological innovation, this is an excellent window of opportunity for Israeli companies in general, and specifically for those with groundbreaking technology,” said Israel’s Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Economy Avi Hasson, who oversees Israel’s international activity in industrial R&D.

“Over the past year, the Japanese business sector’s interest in Israel and in cooperation with Israeli businesses has grown, in particular in the homeland security sector, including cyber-security,” said Eitan Kuperstoch, Israel’s commercial attaché to Tokyo. “In the past year alone, more than 6,000 Japanese businesspeople have participated in events organized by the commercial attachés of the Israeli Ministry of Economy.”
In recent months, three Japanese business delegations arrived in Israel, most notably the Keidanren Japan Business Federation.

About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.

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