Tonight, Mayor Sylvester Turner will lead a delegation on a week-long economic investment and trade mission to Israel to explore “Smart City” management while promoting Houston as a high-tech business gateway and tourist destination. Executives from the Texas Medical Center, Noble Energy, Braun Enterprises, Kinder Institute, Lone Star College, Visit Houston, Houston Airport System and City Council will accompany Mayor Turner. The delegation will meet with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the mayors of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva, and the minister of Energy and Infrastructure, as well as leaders from Israeli high tech and bio tech companies. The trip highlights Houston’s strong economic ties to Israel and aims to further raise Israeli business interest in Houston.
“The world calls Houston a knowledge capital, and we are eager to explore new opportunities and learn from Israeli experts in cyber security, technology and medicine,” said Mayor Turner. “Our goal is to create a technological partnership between Houston and Israel in the fields of energy, life sciences and Smart Cities.”
Some of the highlights of the trip include visits with leaders from the following organizations:
- The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies – one of the most influential think tanks and research hubs in the region.
- Etgarim: Israel Association for the Disabled – an organization that empowers and socially integrates people with disabilities through the challenge of outdoor and extreme sports.
- Bio-Jerusalem Center – established to promote the bio-med cluster in Jerusalem as an engine for economic growth.
- Peres Center for Peace and Innovation – Israel’s leading nonprofit organization focused on developing and implementing cutting-edge peacebuilding programs in innovation, education, medicine, business and the environment.
- Yad Vashem Complex – the Jewish National Memorial to the six million victims of the Holocaust.
- Sorek Desalination Plant – the world’s largest plant that cost effectively extracts salt and minerals from seawater to provide fresh water.
Houston offers an entrepreneurial and highly skilled workforce, providing key components for business success. It is also the seventh busiest gateway for U.S.– Israel trade, and Israel is Houston’s 46th largest international trade partner. Houston ranks as the 12th busiest gateway for U.S.- Israel air cargo trade. Houston firms with major operations in Israel include but are not limited to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), BMC Software, NetIQ Corporation and Noble Energy, Inc.