The Israeli Cabinet at its weekly meeting has approved (January 4) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed plan to strengthen economic links and cooperation with Japan. The plan constitutes a roadmap for various government ministries regarding a focused effort to strengthen economic links by investing tens of millions of shekels over three years. The plan is based on identifying areas of interest common to both countries.
All major governmental ministries will take an active part in implementing the plan, which follows the principles agreed upon in the joint statement by the Japanese and Israeli Prime Ministers in May 2014. Among them:
Economy Ministry – Opening a trade office in Osaka, in addition to the trade office in Tokyo; increasing the number of commercial officers in Tokyo; strengthening business activity in Japan; branding doing business with Israel in Japan; increasing Israeli companies’ exposure to Japanese firms and vice-versa; expanding the Economy Ministry Chief Scientist’s activity in Japan; enlarging the India-China Fund so as to include Japan.
Finance Ministry – Advancing negotiations on a bilateral agreement to encourage and protect investments.
Science, Technology and Space Ministry – Increasing joint research grants by 50% in 2015; increasing space cooperation; strengthening ties between Israeli and Japanese researchers.
Foreign Ministry – Advancing plans for a visit by 500 young leaders from Japan to Israel over three years. The young leaders will be in Israel for approximately one week during which they will be exposed to various aspects of the economy, culture, administration and life in Israel.
Tourism Ministry – Plan to increase the number of Japanese tourists by 45% by 2017.
Transportation and Road Safety Ministry – Increasing cooperation in various transportation technologies and infrastructures with emphasis on public transportation; transportation research and development.
– Advancing plans for bilateral cooperation by the ministries of Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, Culture and Sports, as well as regarding alternative fuels.
Against the background of the foregoing and in light of the desire to vary and expand the Israeli economy’s trade targets, Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed that economic ties and cooperation with Japan be moved forward. This decision constitutes a roadmap for continued activity and expresses the principles that were included in the joint statement by the Israeli and Japanese prime ministers regarding the building of a new and comprehensive partnership between the two countries, which was issued following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent visit to Japan.