Gov. Rick Snyder began his investment mission in Israel with a full agenda of meetings with business executives and government leaders, including meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss ways to increase trade and investment opportunities between Michigan and the state of Israel.
"Meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders were highly productive and will continue to foster and strengthen relationships between Michigan and Israel," Snyder said. "We are working to create new opportunities that are mutually beneficial to our respective businesses and citizens."
In addition to his meeting with Netanyahu, Snyder sat down with Naftali Bennet, Israel's minister of economy. The meeting included the signing of letter of intent between the state of Michigan and the state of Israel to establish bilateral cooperation in industrial research and development that will create the framework for future cooperation between companies from Michigan and Israel. Snyder also met with high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss mutual areas of interest between the United States and Israel.
Snyder also visited General Motors Advanced Technical Center Israel in Herzliya. Established to create world-class research and development innovations in areas of strategic importance to the automotive industry, the center is part of GM's global research and development network and one of three GM research centers around the globe. While at the center, Snyder met with several automotive companies with Michigan ties and attended an automotive reception sponsored by the Michigan Israeli Business Bridge.
Snyder arrived in Jerusalem on Saturday. On Sunday, he met with Nir Barkat, mayor of Jerusalem. He also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Memorial and Hadassah Hospital, had several meetings with Israeli writers, and met with a group of Israeli water tehnology executives.
He and the delegation will spend the rest of the week traveling to Nazareth, Haifa and the Galilee region to meet with government leaders, business executives and university officials. The governor will also participate in the Israeli President's Conference, "Facing Tomorrow 2013," including a celebration of Israel President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday.
The Israel mission is being conducted at the invitation of the Israeli government and hosted by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. The Michigan Israel Business Bridge facilitated the meetings with company executives.
After four missions to Asia, Europe and Canada, this will be Snyder's first as governor to the Middle East. The Israel mission is Snyder's fifth since taking office. He opened the Michigan Trade Center and met with business leaders in Toronto and met with Canadian government officials in Ottawa in November 2012. He led a 10-day trade mission to China in September 2012, a seven-day mission to Italy and Germany in March 2012 and an eight-day trade mission to Japan, China and Korea in September 2011.