A delegation of 20 senior business people from Thailand’s Industrial Association arrived today (June 15 2015) for a working visit in Israel, to examine Israeli technologies in various fields, such as ICT, packaging, medicine and energy. The business delegation arrived alongside another delegation of 16 representatives of the Thai Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Science & Technology.
The visit was initiated and organized by the Thai Embassy in Israel and the Trade Mission of the Israeli Ministry of Economy in Bangkok. It is co-sponsored by the Israeli Export Institute, the Israeli Industrial Association and the Israel Chamber of Commerce. Leading the Thai delegation is chairman of the Thai Industrial Association, Kevin Murai, who is also owner of ICT company Synnex, a lawmaker at the National Legislative Assembly and once of the most influential individuals in the Thai economy.
Ministry of Economy: “Israel’s technological prowess highly regarded in Thailand; arrival of delegation reflects the potential the business sector there sees in leveraging Israeli tech in the Thai market to give it a competitive edge” The delegation also includes senior businesspeople, including owners and senior managers from Thai mega-companies, such as PFP, SCG, Greater Pharma, Southern Group, Indorama and others.
Barak Sharabi, Head of the Israeli Ministry of Economy’s Trade Mission in Bangkok: “This is a unique visit to Israel by a large and high-profile delegation from Thailand, one of the central economies in Southeast Asia. Thailand is one of the most productive countries in the world and the business community there set a goal of upgrading its existing manufacturing capabilities and developing capabilities in other fields in order to maintain its position as regional leader. There is great appreciation in Thailand for Israel’s technological capabilities and the arrival of a delegation at this level of importance reflects the potential the business sector sees in leveraging Israeli tech in the Thai market to give it a competitive edge.
The Thai are currently in the advanced stage of improving capabilities ahead of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, expected to be launched in 2015. This visit is part of the trade mission’s extensive work with the Thailand Industrial Association and we hope the Thai will greatly benefit from the visit and from being introduced to the experience and knowledge Israeli companies can bring them.” Exports to Thailand during 2014 stood at $500 million, while imports reached $650 million. The Israeli Ministry of Economy’s Head of Trade Mission in Thailand, Barak Sharabi, has an office in the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, and works to promote Israeli exports and to strengthen trade relations between the two countries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 15 June 2015), met with Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhide Nakayama, who is responsible for North America and Middle East affairs and who serves as Vice President of the Israel-Japan Parliamentary Friendship League (which was established by his father in the 1980s).
Prime Minister Netanyahu told his guest that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Israel last January had been very important and had contributed the recent period of excellent bilateral relations, and asked that he convey his greetings to the Japanese Prime Minister. Prime Minister Netanyahu added that there were many amazing opportunities for bilateral cooperation in many fields, but especially in the cyber field.
Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nakayama then held a working meeting with Prime Minister’s Office Director General Eli Groner and the professional teams. The two men discussed appropriate fields for investment, advancing bilateral cooperation agreements and opportunities for cooperation in the cyber field.
There is vast economic potential for the Israeli economy in strengthening economic relations with Japan. The Japanese economy is the third largest economy in the world (after China and the US) with a 2014 GDP of approximately $4.8 trillion. However, Israeli exports to Japan amounted to only approximately $790 million in 2014, thus constituting only approximately 0.1% of overall Japanese imports. Moreover, there is considerable cartelization in exports to Japan with approximately 9% of exporters being responsible for approximately 75% of total exports. Japan’s population is 127 million people. Its annual growth rate is 1.5% and its GDP per capita is $39,000.
In expanding Israeli exports to Japan, there is great potential mainly in high-tech (software and hardware), cyber, HLS, security industries, health technologies, agriculture and transportation. It should be noted that Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics. This is of significant potential for Israeli companies, mainly in the fields of HLS and cyber.
Prime Minister Netanyahu visited Japan in May of last year; as noted above, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Israel last January, at the head of a delegation of over 100 government officials and senior corporate leaders. In January of this year, ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit, the Cabinet approved Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan for strengthening economic ties and bilateral cooperation with Japan.