.An Israeli government delegation visited Chad between 5-7 August 2019 at the initiative of the National Security Council. It will be noted that relations were resumed with Chad, which has a Muslim majority, this past January after an almost 50-year break. Following the resumption of relations, Chad President Idriss Deby asked the Israeli government to send representatives to evaluate the advancement of bilateral economic cooperation and the transfer of information on – inter alia – agriculture, water management, and education.
The delegation was led by Economy and Industry Ministry Foreign Trade Administration Export Policy Director Dr. Itai Melchior; among the other participants were Regional Cooperation Ministry, Director-General Dr. Joseph Draznin, ASHRA Director of Marketing Alex Averbuch, Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry Center for International Agricultural Development Corporation Special Projects Director Daniel Werner and Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute Deputy Director-General for International Business Affairs Sabine Segal.
The delegation met with ministers and director generals from the ministries of Economy, Finance, Agriculture, Water, Energy, Mines, Communications, Education and Health. Meetings were also held with international elements such as representatives from the World Bank and the US Embassy, in order to consider increased foreign investments in Chad.
The local chamber of commerce invited the delegation to meet with leading local business people in order to consider cooperation with the Israeli business sector. The government mining company briefed the delegation on the relevant economic potential of Chad.
Chad, most of the GDP of which stems from the export of petroleum and cattle, is interested in attracting foreign investments in the mining sector, which they believe to be of great potential, in upgrading local physical and social infrastructures and in diversifying the national economy.
It was agreed – inter alia – that senior Chadian officials – including the Minister of Agriculture and Mines, and from the business sector, would visit Israel.
Economy and Industry Ministry Foreign Trade Administration Export Policy Director Dr. Itai Melchior noted that members of the delegation were impressed by the desire of the Chadian government, and of the private sector, to cooperate with Israel. "After an intensive two days of meetings, I can say with certainty that there is definitely room for cooperation with both the government and the business sector. I assume that we will see Chadian visits to Israel soon in order to continue the dialogue," he said.
Regional Cooperation Ministry Director-General Dr. Joseph Draznin: "The developing ties between Chad and Israel are part of the fabric of Israel's relations with countries in the region. This fabric combines both bilateral and regional cooperation between Israel and African, Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries in energy, water, agriculture and technology."
Photo credit: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development