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Australians to promote free trade agreement with Israel

Australians to promote free trade agreement with Israel

A 30-member Australian delegation will arrive in Israel tomorrow to locate investment opportunities.

Hadas Manor

23 May 05

A delegation of 30 Australian businesspeople and economic officials will arrive in Israel tomorrow to locate investment opportunities and possible purchases of equipment, technologies, and know-how. Members of the delegation will seek to promote a bilateral free trade agreement, and will meet Israeli executives, including Amdocs president and CEO Dov Baharav, Comverse Technology CEO Zeev Bregman, Check Point Software Technologies CEO Gil Shwed, and RAD Data Communications chairman Zohar Zisapel, as well as managers of start-ups.

Business Council of Australia president Hugh Morgan is heading the delegation. The Business Council of Australia represents over one million workers. Morgan is a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and is involved with a number of Australian and Asian companies. He said an Australian-Israeli free trade agreement could double bilateral trade within a few years.

Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce executive director Paul Israel said this was the largest and highest ranking delegation to visit Israel from Australia in recent years. Delegation members come from high tech, telecommunications, biotechnology, agrotechnology, academe and the government.

Delegation members include Telstra Tech group managing director Ted Pretty, Singtel-Optus director Rob Parcell, and Seven Network Australia director Ryan Stokes. Telestra Tech is part of telecommunications company Telstra (NYSE; ASX:TLS). Singtel-Optus is Austalia’s second largest telecommunications company. Seven Network Australia Ltd. (ASX:SEV) is a television and media leader in Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state. The State of Victoria and Israel recently signed an agreement to establish a $6 million binational industrial cooperation fund.

The delegation will attend Bio-Tech Israel 2005, and tour the Ashkelon desalination facility and Dan Region Sewage Reclamation Project (Shafdan). They will meet Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert, Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Ministry of Finance director general Dr. Joseph Bachar, Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer, and Manufacturers Association president and Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute chairman Shraga Brosh.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 23, 2005

 source: Globes