NAB chief head of mission to Israel

July 28, 2014 by  
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Despite the current unrest, the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce has recently concluded another successful Trade Mission to Israel – 3rd for this year. Leading a senior group of 30 business executives including, Cameron Clyne, Group CEO at NAB and John Paitaridis, Managing Director at Optus Business. The week-long trip centred on Technology Innovation and Cyber Security introducing Australian businesses to the best that Israel has to offer.


Ori Danieli, Head of Trade at the Chamber said: “At many meetings, whether formal or otherwise, the delegates were thanked for their support and courage in being in Israel at such a difficult time. Clearly, it was not taken for granted, as many official groups and tourists cancelled their visits.


Ambassador Dave Sharma, Cathie Reid, Managing Partner, APHS and Cameron Clyne.


Dr Karnit Flug – Governor, Bank of Israel and Cameron Clyne

Our delegates experienced a few occasions where they were required to seek shelter, however, they were not intimidated by the sirens and missiles and felt confident in the ability of the Israeli Defence Forces. They were particularly impressed by the capability of the Iron Dome, missile defence system which in fact demonstrates Israeli ingenuity at its best. The situation also provided a small taste of what life is for many people living in the region”

The purpose of the visit was to both explore business and investment opportunities as well as understand Israel’s unique entrepreneurial and innovative eco-system. Naturally there was also a strong interest in geo-politics. Delegates were briefed by Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, former Chief of Staff at the IDF and Carmi Gilon, former Head of the Shin Bet.

Delegates were also gained access to some of Israel’s most important business and community leaders, including Gil Shwed, Founder and CEO of Check Point Software, Dr Karnit Flug, Governor – Bank of Israel, Jon Medved, Founder of Our Crowd, Boaz Maor, CEO of Cisco Israel, and Dan Border, President of Verint.

The group also met with several entrepreneurs, academics, venture capitalists and other contributors to the start up landscape. The visit included a reception hosted by Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, his Excellency Dave Sharma and a performance by Bat Sheva Dance Company – one of the world’s leading contemporary dance groups. The group also took in many of Israel’s most iconic tourist destinations, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Dead Sea/Masada, Yad Vashem, Holocaust Museum, Jaffa, Caesarea, and the Bahai Temple in Haifa.

John Paitaridis, Managing Director – Optus Business, said “Optus has a long standing and strong relationship with the AICC, so it was great for me to join the recent trade delegation to Israel. I was impressed by entrepreneurial drive of the businesses we met and the people who run them. I visit many countries and communities, but you don’t often meet as many inspirational entrepreneurs and business leaders in the one place. When it comes to innovation and collaboration the Israeli system delivers some great results”.

The Chamber has been facilitating Trade Missions to Israel for over 25 years and encourages interested parties to join this extraordinary experience. Its next Trade Mission is scheduled for May 2015 and will be led by Simon Mckeown, Chairman of CSIRO and former Australian of the Year.

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