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ISRAEL, PANAMA MEET FOR SECOND ROUND  OF NEGOTIATIONS ON FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

 

Negotiations Get into High Gear as Israeli Delegation Arrives in Panama

 

JERUSALEM – March 3rd, 2015 -- A 12-strong Israeli delegation headed by Ministry of Economy officials and comprised of professional staff from relevant government ministries are in Panama City to participate in a second round of negotiations for a free trade agreement between Israel and the Republic of Panama. The negotiations are part of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy's policy of expanding Israeli exports to new markets, and the Israeli government's policy of strengthening relations with Latin American countries.

 

The agreement is expected to serve as another springboard for Israeli service providers - especially in software, communication, information security, engineering and R&D - thus expanding the potential of this and related markets.

 

The second round of talks began Monday in Panama City and will last four days. Twelve working groups are expected to discuss the following subjects: access to markets, customs, services and investments, intellectual property, protection of flora and fauna and veterinary aspects, trade obstacles, institutional issues and conflict resolution. Two more rounds of talks are expected before the negotiations are completed.

 

Head of the Foreign Trade Administration in the Israel Ministry of Economy Ohad Cohen said: "The Israeli Ministry of Economy continues to strengthen Israel's economic ties with countries around the world with an emphasis on developing economies with great potential for growth. In this case, we are expanding Israel's economic footprint in Latin America, in accordance with our policy of expanding export horizons for Israeli industry and service sectors. The agreement will forge new opportunities for Israeli companies and give them a competitive edge against foreign companies. Panama is a signatory to free trade agreements with many countries including the US, the EU, Canada, EFTA countries, Singapore, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. A free trade agreement with Panama will level Israel's position regarding trade benefits with those countries."

 

Mrs. Yifat Alon-Perel, Director, Bilateral Trade and Economic Agreements at the Ministry of Economy and head of the Israeli delegation to the talks said: "Free trade agreements constitute a significant framework for Israeli exports. Today, about 65% of Israeli exports go to countries with which Israel shares free trade agreements, giving exporters benefits regarding customs and a competitive edge. The Foreign Trade Administration continues to work for the benefit of Israeli exporters by guaranteeing their products remain competitive and by ensuring easier access to new markets while striving to remove trade obstacles exporters typically face in these markets. Israeli exporters enjoy a competitive advantage in Mexico thanks to the longstanding free trade agreement our countries have enjoyed since 2000, as well as to the Mercosur states, including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. In addition, one year ago a free trade agreement was signed with Colombia which is expected to go into effect in about a year. Our goal is to increase Israeli industry's competitive advantage by signing agreements with more countries, including Panama. Tightening economic ties with Panama is doubly important both for opening new markets for Israeli industry and for strengthening Israel's standing among Latin American countries."

 

According to the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, the economy of Panama is based primarily on a developed service sector which constitutes more than three quarters of its GDP and includes the operation of the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the free trade zone in Colón, insurance, ports, shipping registration and tourism. Economic growth in Panama in 2013 exceeded 8% and is attributed - among other factors - to the widening of the Panama Canal which began in 2007 at a cost of $5.3 billion. Additional infrastructure development projects expected to take place in the country may very well draw Israeli firms with relevant expertise.

 

Panama is a candidate to join the Pacific Alliance, a bloc of Latin American nations including Mexico, Colombia (both of which enjoy free trade agreements with Israel), Chile and Peru. The bloc includes 200 million consumers and a joint GDP of over $3 trillion. This constitutes 35% of the total GDP of Latin American countries and over 50% of Latin American trade. Israeli exports to Panama in 2014 stood at $25 million and imports from Panama at $3 million.

 

 

 

 

 ISRAEL, MEXICO SIGN GROUNDBREAKING AGREEMENT TO COOPERATE ON RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Mexico to Join Office of the Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy in Funding Research and Development Projects * Goal: To Advance Research and Industrial Development In Both Countries * Israeli and Mexican Companies to Receive Funding for Joint R&D Projects * Leading Fields for Joint Research: Water Management, Desert Agriculture, Pharma and Medical Devices, Electronics and Communication

 

JERUSALEM. December 8th, 2014 – Israel and Mexico signed a cooperation agreement for industrial R&D over the weekend. As part of the agreement, Mexico will join the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) at the Israeli Ministry of Economy in a framework of international cooperation to fund joint projects in research and development intended to advance industrial development between both countries.

 

The agreement – signed last week by Israeli Ambassador to Mexico Rodica Radian Gordon –was led by CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) and its Israeli counterpart, the Office of the Chief Scientist (through the office's executive arm MATIMOP), the Israeli ambassador to Mexico and the Israeli Ministry of Economy's trade attaché to Mexico, Rona Kotler Ben Aroya.

 

Under the agreement, Israeli and Mexican companies will receive assistance in funding joint projects in vast areas of research and development. The leading fields for cooperation with Mexico will include water management, desert agriculture, pharma and medical devices, electronics and communication. However, the agreement will serve as a framework for all types of technology cooperation.

 

Apart from the potential in implementing the agreement with the business community in Mexico, the move can also advance other agreements in Latin America and strengthen business relations with countries such as Brazil, Chile or Colombia.

 

Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy Avi Hasson said: "We are delighted with Mexico's vote of confidence in Israel's economy, industry and innovation, which have long been global brands. Cooperation agreements such as the one signed with Mexico contribute to the Israeli market by creating new jobs, advancing R&D, technological enterprise and more."

 

Rona Kotler Ben Aroya, Trade Attaché to Mexico from the Israeli Ministry of Economy, said: "Mexico is one of the world's largest manufacturers in a variety of fields, comprising an essential part of the country's economy. Many of its products are intended for the North American market. In an effort to preserve its global competitiveness, the Mexican government has set a goal of advancing research and development in order to streamline and upgrade the manufacturing processes of local companies by implementing advanced technologies in the manufacturing process. The signing of the industrial R&D agreement between Israel and Mexico will help Israeli companies integrate products and advanced technologies with local manufacturers and realize the potential of this market."

 

Immediately following the agreement's signing and confirmation, a call will be issued in early 2015 to Israeli and Mexican companies to present joint proposals for parallel funding for R&D projects.

 

 

 

 

 The "Globes" Israel Business Conference 2014, Israel's largest
annual business conference, will be held on December 7-8


The "Globes" Israel Business Conference 2014, Israel's largest annual business conference, will be held on December 7-8 in Tel Aviv. It will be opened in the presence of His Honor, the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin.


The conference's opening session will be entitled, 2015 - Where is it headed? The participants will discuss what can be expected in the coming year. The topics will include the economic outlook for 2015, whether Israel's credit rating will be upgraded or downgraded, whether membership in the OECD will strengthen Israel and open it to new markets, and expected trends during the year and how they will affect the country's citizens.


The session participants will be Dr. Jason Furman, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House and Senior Economic Advisor to President Barack Obama; David Rothkopf, the CEO and Editor, Foreign Policy Magazine, one of the most important periodicals about politics and international relations in the world, and a columnist at CNN and at The New York Times; and Zion Keinan, Bank Hapoalim CEO and President.


The Israel Business Conference is the country's premier and most prestigious economic conference, where decision-makers, businesspeople, government officials, academics, top economic officials, researchers, spokespersons, and local and foreign delegations meet and network. At the conference, leading Israeli and foreign economic officials, academics, businesspeople, and policy-makers will offer their analyses and knowledge.

 

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The "Seeking Energy for Growth" session will discuss oil prices and Israeli gas at the 2014 "Globes" Israel Business Conference

 

For the full conference schedule and to register, please click on Israel Business Conference or telephone *5988

 

What will the price of oil be in 2015, who will gain and who will lose from the collapse of oil prices, will the US break the OPEC cartel, can Israel close natural gas export deals, and should price controls be placed on natural gas in Israel. These and other questions will be discussed during the "Seeking energy for growth" session at the 2014 "Globes" Israel Business Conference.


The session participants will be International Energy Agency (IEA) chief economist and director of its Global Energy Economics Directorate Dr. Fatih Birol, who is rated by Forbes as one of the most influential people in the world in energy and who is responsible for World Energy Outlook, the IEA's flagship publication, a source of strategic analysis of the world's energy markets; and King's College Dean of the Policy Institute Dr. Nick Butler, an energy blogger at the Financial Times. The moderator will be "Globes" macroeconomics correspondent Amiram Barkat.

 

The Israel Business Conference is the country's premier and most prestigious economic conference, where decision-makers, businesspeople, government officials, academics, top economic officials, researchers, spokespersons, and local and foreign delegations meet and network. At the conference, leading Israeli and foreign economic officials, academics, businesspeople, and policy-makers will offer their analyses and knowledge.
The conference, a major influential event on the public economic agenda, will be held at the Tel Aviv David Intercontinental Hotel on December 7-8.

 

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Waking up from the American Dream


The Waking up from the American Dream panel will discuss changes in US policy at the 2014 Globes Israel Business Conference

 

Changes in US-Israeli, US-Russian relations, and, of course, US-Chinese relations are the subject of the Waking up from the American Dream panel at the 2014 Globes Israel Business Conference.


The panelists will be Westwood Capital co-founder and managing partner Daniel Alpert, a member of US the financial elite, and a Research Fellow at The Century Foundation, who jointly published with Prof. Nuriel Roubini and Prof. Robert Hockett, The Way Forward, a program for emerging from the economic crisis; Pew Research Center Research Fellow Paul Taylor, a former political correspondent for The Washington Post and author of The Next America; and Institute for Policy Planning CEO Dr. Igor Bonin, an expert in Russia-US relations. Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, The Wall Street Journal will moderate the panel.


The Globes Israel Business Conference is the country's premier and most prestigious economic conference, where decision-makers, businesspeople, government officials, academics, top economic officials, researchers, spokespersons, and local and foreign delegations meet and network. At the conference, leading Israeli and foreign economic officials, academics, businesspeople, and policy-makers will offer their analyses and knowledge.

 

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The challenges facing Israel's defense industries after Operation Protective Edge will be discussed


The 2014 "Globes" Israel Business Conference will hold a session on economic security, which will discuss the economic consequences of Operation Protective Edge on Israel and the R&D challenges facing the country's defense industries. The session's topics will include, following the invention of Iron Dome, can defense companies invent a system to tackle the threat of tunnels; how are defense industries handling growing competition in global markets; how will defense budget constraints affect procurements from Israeli companies; how the privatization of Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) is progressing; and how the lessons of Operation Protective Edge will affect the development programs of defense companies.


The sessions participants are Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. CEO Joseph Weiss, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. CEO Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yedidia Yaari, Magal Security Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: MAGS; TASE: MAGS) CEO Eitan Livne, Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) president and CEO Betzalel Machlis, Magna BSP Ltd. CEO Amos Matan, and IMI CEO Avi Felder. "Globes" defense industries correspondent Yuval Azulai will be the session moderator.


The Israel Business Conference is the country's premier and most prestigious economic conference, where decision-makers, businesspeople, government officials, academics, top economic officials, researchers, spokespersons, and local and foreign delegations meet and network. At the conference, leading Israeli and foreign economic officials, academics, businesspeople, and policy-makers will offer their analyses and knowledge.


The conference, a major influential event on the public economic agenda, will be held at the Tel Aviv David Intercontinental Hotel on December 7-8.




Israel Business Conference 2014 – Registration and details:


www.globes.co.il/gibc2014

 

 

 

 

 

President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Sunday, 7 December 2014), participated in the Globes 'Israel Business Conference' in Tel Aviv. The President spoke 'in conversation' with Globes Editor-in-Chief Guy Rolnik about the proposed upcoming elections. He said, "I hope that what happened before won't happen this time, with regard to the voter turnout. I am afraid the public will not get out to vote, because they have lost faith. I hope everyone will vote."

 

The President continued, "Even the political leaders need to understand that a return to the central voter blocs is important for governance and the ability to make difficult decisions. The elections always raise the same questions: security or society, but today, we have to find a solution to both, it is no longer 'either or'. The social protests brought about the unprecedented replacement of 57 members of Knesset, and that was a clear message."

 

In relation to the situation in Israel's society, the President said, "We find ourselves with two economies – the Start Up nation, and another Israel. The gaps are growing and widening even within the second group, and amongst the middle classes. All this demands the involvement of society; by voting and understanding that elected representatives are elected to deal with these issues too."

 

 

 The President continued to address the issue of violence in Israel over the past months. "The cure for violence, is hope. As Jewish leaders, we must deal with the issue of Jewish fundamentalism, and Arab leaders need to deal with the issue of Arab fundamentalism. Where there is no hope, violence breeds."

 

To the question of how the President regards the suggestion he had changed his opinions since entering office, he said, "I was and remain a student of Jabotinsky, the education system within which I was educated and raised was that of the Herut and the Likud. I have said in the past, and I say again and again. Jews and Arabs were not doomed to live together, but destined to live together. As a Jew and a Zionist, I believe fully in the Jewish State, which must be democratic, and governed according to the will of the majority. That which I say today, I have been saying for years, and all who know me are aware of this."

 

To the question of whether the President was a 'digital president', the President responded, "I write with a fountain pen, and sometimes with a pencil. My grandchildren have shown me the marvels of the internet. I understood early on, the magnitude of the revolution that the internet has brought and the significance it holds for our lives. Personally however, I can't really send a text message without the help of my aides. That said, I understand what I am talking about, and I can happily live with it with my grandchildren by my side."

 

Photos  Silvia G Golan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty years ago, a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan was signed, which settled the relationship, boundaries and division of resources between Israel and Jordan. Following the peace agreement, the borders between the countries were opened, and factories under Israeli ownership were transferred to Jordan, where labor is cheaper.
In 1997, the QIZ Agreement was signed by Israel, Jordan and the US, in order to encourage business collaborations and thus promote the peace process. The agreement contributed to strengthening the political relationship and the trade relations between Israel and Jordan such that in 1998, Israeli exports to Jordan amounted to about USD 25 million, compared to USD 133 million in 2004, an aggregate increase exceeding 400%.


In 2005, free trade agreements were signed between Jordan and the United States. The Jordanian exporters moved from the QIZ framework to the framework of this agreement, while the Israeli exporters were required to face the Jordanian market with equal terms with local and foreign suppliers, without the advantage of the QIZ Agreement. As a result, exports from Israel to Jordan decreased by about 13% from USD 133 million in 2004 to about USD 116 million in 2005.


Based on the data of the Export Institute, the scope of trade (import and export) of Israel with Jordan in 2013 amounted to about USD 366 million, an increase of about 2% compared to the same period the previous year. That year, Jordan was ranked as Israel's 39th trade partner.


The export of goods from Israel to Jordan amounted in 2013 to about USD 99 million, a decrease of about 36% compared to the same period the previous year. The main decrease occurred in jewelry industry exports. In the first half of 2014, there was an increase of about 16% in the scope of exports, amounting to about USD 56 million. In 2013, Jordan was ranked as the 51st destination for the export of Israeli goods.


Changes in the export in prominent industries during the first half of 2014:
In the vehicle industry, aircraft and boating vessels experienced an increase of about 29%, and amounts to about USD 15 million, constituting about 27% of the export.
In the agricultural industry, a decrease of about 53% to about USD 6.5 million, constituting about 12% of the export.
In the machines and equipment industry, a decrease of about 4% to about USD 4.5 million, constituting about 8% of the export;
In the chemicals and refined petroleum industry, an increase of about 13% to about USD 4 million, constituting about 7% of the export.

 

Main Export Industries of Israel – Jordan ($M)

Description of Industry ($M)
H1/2013
H1/2014
Change rate 14/13
Weight in export 14

Transport tools
11.6
15.0
29%
27%
Agricultural export
13.9
6.5
-53%
12%
Machines and equipment
4.7
4.5
-4%
8%
Chemicals and refined petroleum
3.5
3.9
13%
7%
Non-imbedded source industry
0.6
3.7
526%
6%
Food, drink and tobacco products
1.9
3.3
76%
6%
Basic metal and metal products
2.4
3.0
25%
5%
Source: Export Institute

 

The import of goods from Israel to Jordan increased in 2013 by about 30% and amounted to about USD 267 million. Jordan constitutes the 30th overall source for the import of goods of Israel. In the first half of the year, the import amounted to about USD 200.3 million, an increase of about 53%.

 

Changes in the import in prominent industries during the first half of 2014:
In the plastic and rubber industry, an increase of about 243% to about USD 77 million and constituting about 38% of the import.
In the machines and mechanical devices industry, an increase of about 46% to about USD 47.5 million and constituting about 24% of the import.
In the animal and animal products industry, an increase of 430% to about USD 47 million and constituting about 24% of the import;

Main Import Industries of Israel – Jordan ($M)

Description of Industry ($M)
H1/2013
H1/2014
Change rate 14/13
Weight in import 14

Plastic and rubber
22.5
77.1
243%
38%
Machines and mechanical devices
32.5
47.5
46%
24%
Animal products
8.9
47.2
430%
24%
Chemical products
4.3
7.3
70%
4%
Textile products
2.5
4.4
77%
2%
Herbal products
0.4
3.2
782%
2%
Paper products
2.5
2.8
13%
1%
Source: Export Institute

 

Export from Israel to Jordan in 1988 – 2013, in USD millions