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Lord Mandelson calls for more business with Israel


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Date: 18 Nov 2008

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has called for deeper business ties between the UK and its "firm friend" Israel. The UK aims to raise trade between the two countries to 3 billion per year by 2012.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, and Lord Mandelson jointly addressed a meeting of about 200 UK business leaders at Mansion House in London, hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Ian Luder today.

The Business Secretary said:

"This is an age of great promise and immense global change - driven by the rapid development of new technologies and powerful flows of ideas, people, goods, services and capital across borders. Interdependence defines this new world."

Lord Mandelson said that nowhere was this more evident than in the current global financial crisis, "the first great test of our new multi-polar globalised world."

"We cannot act by ourselves any more. We have to act together or we will not act at all," he said.

The UK has the aim of achieving bilateral trade worth 3bn per year by 2012, a rise from the 2007 level of 2.3 billion. Opportunities exist in financial services, bio-technology, ICT, medical equipment and software, and also in creative industries, including film-making.

"Your country's prudent fiscal policy, structural reforms and investment in education and hi-tech industries have encouraged strong growth, foreign investment and consumer spending and left your economy well placed to withstand the current global downturn," Lord Mandelson said.

The International Monetary Fund recently forecast that the Israel economy, which has grown at over 5% per year for the last three years, will grow at 4.3% this year and 2.8% in 2009.

The Business Secretary paid tribute, in the year marking the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, to President Peres for his "tireless energy and bravery" in bringing a vision for peace within the grasp of today's leaders. As a "firm friend" of Israel, Britain would work tirelessly with Israel and its neighbours to pursue peace and end extremism, he said.

"Only in the context of a safe and secure Israel living in peace with its neighbours, alongside a prosperous and democratic Palestinian state, will Israel be able fully to unlock its immense potential," he said.


1. Israel is the UK's third biggest export market in the Middle East with leading British companies including HSBC, Unilever and Rolls Royce managing major interests there. The UK is also Israel's third largest destination for exports. Over 250 Israeli firms are based in the UK.

2. Over 40 Israeli firms are now listed on the London Stock Exchange. Fourteen are listed on the Alternative Investment Market.

3. UK Trade & Investment is the UK Government's international business development organisation, supporting businesses seeking to establish in the UK and helping UK companies grow internationally. The services offered by UK Trade & Investment bring together a network of business sector specialists and support teams in British embassies and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) posts all around the world, as well as key experts in government departments across the UK. UK Trade & Investment works with a wide range of partner organisations in the UK, including Regional Development Agencies and the Devolved Administrations, Business Links, Chambers of Commerce and trade associations. For more information, visit the web site at:

4. For more information, please contact Tessa Fras in the UK Trade & Investment Press Office on 020 7215 8483

About the Author

Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-11-19 11:53:56 in Business Articles

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