The mission in brief
From November 13 to 18, 2016, Acclr’s team of international trade experts of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal, invites Quebec companies and organizations to take part in an economic mission to Israel and the West Bank, led by the Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, Mr. Denis Coderre. The mission will take place during the same week as the international “HLS & Cyber 2016” conference.
The program in brief:
General program package:
- Information seminars
- Industrial field trips
- Official networking activities
Personalized meeting package:
- Targeted individual meetings
- Information seminars
- Industrial field trips
- Official networking activities
Mission participation includes:
- Networking activities
- Organization of targeted one-on-one meetings (optional)
- Interpreter service for individual meetings and other activities requiring translation (optional)
- 6 nights lodging (optional)
- Ground transportation for all group travel on the mission program
- Group meals on the mission program
- A directory of mission members, including a profile of each participant, provided to Israeli entrepreneurs
- A preparatory meeting
- Guidance and support throughout your stay
- Logistics during your stay
- The mission binder
This mission is eligible for subsidies for entrepreneurs from 35 and under.
Digital and information technology
Among all members of the OECD, Israel is the country that invests the most in research and development—an amount representing 4.3% of its GDP. Technology has been Israel’s main economic engine since 2005, and is also a significant element of trade. Certain major international players—including Google, Microsoft, and Motorola—have chosen to take advantage of the technological expertise in Israel, establishing their research centres in the country.
Canada-Israel trade in brief
- A free trade agreement in effect for close to 20 years
- $342 million in Canadian exports (2015)
- $72 million in exports from Quebec (2015)
The clean technologies sector
Israel is the world leader in the clean technologies sector according to the 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Index. The country has a strong entrepreneurial culture and a high-calibre educational system, despite having to deal with significant geographical and natural limitations. These conditions are extremely conducive to the emergence of innovative companies in the clean technologies sector.
Israel is considered to be a start-up nation par excellence, with one start-up per every 2,000 inhabitants (the greatest density of start-ups per inhabitant in the world). Israel is well known for its climate of innovation and its entrepreneurial spirit, which contribute to its current high number of start-ups. The country has become the world’s second most important hub for technological innovation after Silicon Valley. The country is home to several business incubators and boasts many funding programs to support innovation. In recent years, several multinationals have therefore chosen to expand into the country. Two cities in particular are drawing entrepreneurs: Tel Aviv and Haifa. In fact, Tel Aviv is ranked as having the second best performing entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world.
The cultural sector
Israel has been at the crossroads of all ancient and modern civilizations. Building on this culturally rich past, Israeli culture and art are today acclaimed the world over. Israeli cinema is renowned for being very dynamic, creative, and committed. Filmmakers and producers from around the world have taken an interest and are investing in the country’s film industry. Israel’s designers and artists are also recognized around the world for their creativity, innovative spirit, and competitiveness.
Israeli expertise on matters of security is world-renowned. Calling itself a “cyber nation,” Israel represented 10% of the global cyber-security market in 2015, according to the Israel National Cyber Bureau. Security is one of Israel’s principal sources of trade, neck-and-neck with leading-edge technologies. As a consequence, the country is a potential buyer of sophisticated detection material, closed circuit television (CCTV), sensors, biometric solutions, radiographic solutions, and other technologies. In 2014, Israel’s research and development (R&D) spending on cyber defence represented 15% of global spending in the field.
Companies, organizations, and researchers interested in this sector of activity are invited to take part in the cyber security component of the economic mission, which will be organized by the Ministry of the Economy, Science and Innovation on the occasion of the 4th international HLS & Cyber conference in Tel Aviv.
Israel is renowned for its technology, its entrepreneurial culture, and the openness of its market. Foreign direct investment (FDI) abounds in its leading-edge sectors, and the economic priority placed on innovation is evidenced in the number of business incubators and funding programs for start-ups that are found in the country.
Trade between Canada and Israel is facilitated through their free trade agreement, CIFTA, which has been in effect since 1997. What’s more, the two countries also have a free trade agreement with the United States, which facilitates trade between the three economies, in compliance with rules of origin.
Trade represents 62% of Israel’s GDP. Its principal imports consist of oil and gas, grain, raw materials, and military hardware. In 2015, Canadian exports to Israel amounted to $342 million. They mainly consisted of aircraft, electrical machinery, paper and cardboard, stones and precious metals, grains, and vegetable substances.
The Israeli economy is unique in that it combines an interesting rate of growth with very low rates of inflation and unemployment. In 2015, Israel’s growth rate was 2.58%, while inflation and unemployment came in at
-0.6% and 5.25% respectively. For the current year, we are expecting a slight increase in growth, to 3.1%.
The Israeli market is made up of 8.21 million consumers, close to half of whom live in Tel Aviv. Israeli labour is highly qualified, predominantly in various areas of engineering.
A must, the city is host to the Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) Media Quarter—an incubator complex for start-ups in the multimedia sector. Support for innovation is evidenced by an emphasis on seed-stage companies. It is also home to Zappa Jerusalem in the Lab, which operates as an accelerator specifically for businesses in the arts sector.
Israel’s economic and financial core, Tel Aviv is nicknamed “the city that never stops.” It is a young and dynamic city, and while the entire country is distinguished by an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, Tel Aviv is where you’ll find it in its highest concentration. There are some fifty business accelerators and incubators in the city and, in 2015, at the end of the 3rd quarter, the funds raised by Israeli start-ups amounted to a record $3.2 billion US. Tel Aviv-Yafo is a member of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. In 2014, it was named a Creative City of Media Arts.
Located in the country’s southern region, Beersheba is home to close to 200,000 inhabitants, making it the largest city in the Negev desert. The city is known for its excellence in the field of cyber-security, for which it is likely to become the global hub in the near future. The desert capital already boasts 250 specialized companies and 5 research centers, in addition to having recently benefitted from major investments for the construction of ultra-sophisticated start-up incubators (KPMG, 2016).
Why the West Bank?
With a population of over 3.2 million people, the West Bank includes such emblematic cities as Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah. The West Bank benefits from a highly qualified labour force, as evidenced by the presence of several multinationals.
The new technologies sector is currently booming, supported by the creation of new, high-level university programs and the appearance of several incubators, such as “eZone.”
WHO SHOULD TAKE PART?
This mission will give Montréal and Quebec-based companies an opportunity to promote their expertise and innovative, value-added products on the Israeli market in the following sectors (non-restrictive recommendations):
- Digital technology
- Clean technology
- Creative industries