Israel attracts foreign investors while confronting terrorism 

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger,
“Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #196, July 25, 2014

1. $1.6bn was raised by Israeli high tech companies during the first half of 2014, 81% higher than the first half of 2013. Israeli high tech companies raised $930mn during 2014’s 2nd quarter – the highest total since 2000, 30% higher than the 1st quarter and 109% higher than 2013’s 2nd quarter (Globes Business Daily, July 16, 2014).

2. Israel’s new investment Angels’ Law – introduced by the Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennett – is the world’s most daring, including a 100% deduction for tax purposes during the first year (Globes, July 17).  The $86bn Los Angeles-headquartered Oaktree Capital Management acquired the Israel operations of France’s Veolia Environment for $341mn (Bloomberg, July 10). The $36bn San Diego-based Qualcomm acquired Israel’s Wilocity for $300mn, made its 5thIsraeli acquisition following DesignArt ($130mn), iSkoot ($75mn), CSR’s camera division ($45mn) and EPOS  for $30mn Globes, July 4).

  Germany’s Altana invested $135mn in Israel’s Landa Digital Printing (Globes, June 26, 2014). Santa Clara-based ServiceNow acquired Israel’s Neebula Systems for $100mn (Globes, July 10). NASDAQ’s best Initial Public Offering (IPO) during 2014’s 2nd quarter was Israel’s $630mn Kite Pharma which raised $78mn (Globes, June 30).  TheBritish York Investment Fund is investing up to $50mn in Israel’s InSightec (Globes, June 30). The Foxborough, MA-based Kraft Groupand the Boston-based Canepa Advanced healthcare Fund led a $21mn round of private placement in Israel’s Dune Medical (Globes, June 27). Boston Scientific extended a $15mn loan – with a stock option – to Israel’s MValve (Globes, July 7).   

3. Israel’s ties with India are on the upswing…. A burgeoning strategic partnership with Israel matters more to India than reflexive solidarity with the Palestinian cause…. Prime Minister Modi’s administration arguably has more natural affinity with Israel than any previous Indian government… and sees the Jewish state more like most Americans do — as a doughty democracy standing up to terrorism in a rough neighborhood. Both countries face a threat from Islamist terrorists…. The rise of radical Islam across South Asia and the Middle East has raised the stakes for intelligence-sharing between Jerusalem and New Delhi…. Indian farmers benefit from Israeli expertise in drip irrigation. Startups in Bangalore and Hyderabad see Israeli firms like Check Point (software) and Teva (pharmaceuticals) as role models…. Israel has emerged as India’s second biggest arms supplier after Russia…. (The Wall Street Journal, Sadanand Dhume, July 23, 2014).”

4. Japan Times, July 18, 2014: “If the EU walks away from doing business with Israel, its companies will lose out while China’s will gain…. China is expanding its economic interest in Israel…acquiring large positions in key Israeli industries…. China needs all of these assets to modernize and transform its economy. China has a massive industrial and global reach, while Israel has expertise in every area of high-tech….  China has become a close second to the U.S. in the number of technology projects co-managed by Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist…. China will soon replace Europe as the second-leading source for investment in Israel’s high-tech sector…. Israel awarded the Red-Med mega-project — designed to connect the Red Sea to the Mediterranean coast by high-speed rail — to a Chinese firm. Another Chinese firm recently won the bid to build a port at Ashdod, the proposed terminal for the Red-Med rail scheme project…. In 2011, China National Chemical Corporation gained a controlling interest in a major firm in Israel’s agrochemical sector through a $2.4bn investment. Beijing has also gained access to Israeli nanotechnology via a joint venture between Tel Aviv and Tsinghua universities….”

5.  Bloomberg, July 9, 2014: “Israel collaborates with China on dozens of technology projects.  Three years ago there were none…. South Korean interest in Israel has accelerated…. There are South Korean delegations coming to Israel nearly every week. South Korean companies which are in Israel want to expand…. Samsung Electronicsannounced plans to open a research center in Israel. Hyundai Ventureswas in Israel looking at Israeli companies. The Director General of South Korea’s Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry calls Israel ‘our great benchmarking model.’  Last year, Samsung bought the Israeli-founded set-top box maker, Boxee. Israeli companies gain access to the Asian market…. Israel-South Korea trade has doubled in the past nine years to $2bn in 2013…. South Korea [manufacturing] and Israel [technology] complement each other….”

6.  A groundbreaking trade, industrial and research & development agreement was concluded between Israel and Japan (Globes, July 6).

7.  Israel is the 2nd largest cyber exporter in the world – $3bn in 2013, 5% of total exports (expected to surge to 10% in less than five years), three times larger than Britain’s. Israel’s cyber companies raised $165mn in 2013, 11% of overall global investment in this field (IMRA, June 22). Israel is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of small and medium size satellites, and one of only seven countries that possess such capabilities, as well as launching capabilities, enhancing its research & development, industrial and intelligence capabilities.

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom and a rewarding weekend, and may the wind be always at your back,

 Yoram Ettinger, Jerusalem, “Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative”

July 26, 2014 | Comments »

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