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Japanese Business Community Pours Into Israel for Innovation Summit



The largest ever Japanese business delegation landed in Israel on Sunday ahead of the Japan Israel Innovation Network (JIIN) summit.

The delegation, headed by Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, includes 150 representatives from 90 companies, including Mitsubishi, Toshiba and Hitachi.

This is Seko’s second visit to the Jewish state as Minister of Economy. He will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and will participate in various business events to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.

The JIIN meetings will be held in Jerusalem on Tuesday and will include a series of economic meetings between Israel and Japan, as well as a business forum led by Seko and Cohen.

The JIIN is a platform was established by the two economic ministers in May 2017.

The Japanese visit includes three days of activity. The first day featured tours of innovation centers and visits to leading Israeli companies in the fields of cyber, life sciences, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Monday featured a business seminar, ahead of Tuesday’s JIIN summit.

During the week, the two economic ministers will also discuss the strengthening of economic ties, the continuation of the cooperation and the work plan for 2019.

A series of agreements are expected to be signed between Israeli and Japanese companies, and a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed in the field of digital health, as well as cooperation between the countries in the fields of vehicle and cyber.

The visit “constitutes another milestone in strengthening economic relations between Israel and one of the most significant economies in the world. Such cooperation will lead the Israeli economy forward for many years,” Israel’s Ministry of Economy stated.

In recent years there has been a rapid warming of political and economic relations between the two countries. The prime ministers met in May 2014 and again in May 2018, the two countries sign a cooperation agreement in the field of industrial Research & Development in July 2014, and a road-map to strengthen economic links with Japan was approved by Israel in January 2015.

Israel and Japan are experiencing record-breaking trade and economic ties. The number of Japanese companies investing and operating in Israel has increased considerably in recent years, with Japanese investments totaling $ 3.5 billion over the past five years, including deals such as the acquisition of Israeli company NeuroDerm by Mitsubishi Tannabe Pharma in 2017 for $ 1.17 billion, The acquisition of Altair in 2016 by Sony, the $ 200 million investment of the Softbank group in Israeli companies, and more. The number of Japanese companies that opened offices in Israel has grown to over 70.

Israeli exports to Japan in the first three fiscal quarters of 2018 stood at $870 million, a 46 percent increase compared to the same period in 2017. Israeli imports from Japan were valued at $1.51 billion during that time, a 7 percent increase since 2017. (TPS)


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