JAPANESE MINISTER OF ECONOMY SIGNS INDUSTRIAL R&D COLLABORATION AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL– THE FIRST SUCH AGREEMENT FOR JAPAN
Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi
arrived in Israel this morning with a delegation of Japanese Industrialists to sign a first-of-its-kind industrial R&D collaboration agreement with Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett.
Israel is the first country with which Japan has such an R&D agreement
, 2014. Jerusalem, Israel
--Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshimitsu Motegi,
arrived in Israel today 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 (similar to the Israeli Ministry of Economy*).
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 continuing efforts to strengthen economic ties with the countries of East Asia, as exemplified in this reciprocal funding agreement for industrial R&D between Japan and Israel. This is a breakthrough achievement and represents a dramatic change in Japanese policy towards its economic relations with Israel,” said Minister Bennett. “International R&D cooperation is an unparalleled springboard for Israeli companies to break into new markets. 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 participated in events organized by the commercial attachés of the Israeli Ministry of Economy.”
Kuperstoch also pointed to the growing interest of Japanese financial institutions in Israel as well as the success of Israeli cosmetics firms in Japan – in particular Sabon and Laline. He also noted a significant increase in the number of private Japanese companies visiting Israel. In recent months, three Japanese business delegations arrived in Israel, most notably the
Japan Business Federation.
According to Israel’s Foreign Trade Administration in the Ministry of Economy, Israeli exports to Japan in 2013 reached $ 762.3 million, as opposed to $953.1 million in 2012. The statistics reflect a decrease of about 20%, reflecting the significant devaluation of the Japanese currency, which lost about 25% of its value in a period of 10 months. Israeli exports to Japan are relatively varied. The leading exports are machinery, electronic equipment and devices, optical and medical equipment and devices, plastic products, organic chemicals, fruits and vegetables, machines and computer equipment. Imports of goods from Japan reached $1.4 billion in 2013, as opposed to $2.08 billion in 2012, a drop of 30.8%. The leading imports from Japan are machines and mechanical equipment, computer equipment, automotive vehicles and electronic equipment.
*The Israeli Ministry of Economy oversees, in addition to international commerce, the strengthening of Israeli industry, the promotion of international investment in Israel’s economy, the facilitation of investment in areas of national priority, the execution of reciprocal purchasing, the advancement of water-related technologies and renewable energy, cyber technology, and IT, assistance to small and medium businesses, as well areas such as employment, consumer affairs, regulation, workplace safety, international trade, professional education and pre-school education. Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett has tasked the ministry with working to lower the cost of living, improving regulations, and eliminating obstacles to imports and commerce that mar competition – as well as minimalizing impediments to consumers and small businesses.
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