Protests over NZ-Israel Trade Relationships

November 11, 2016 by Keren Cook
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A meeting planned in Auckland today to foster trade relationships with Israel has created tension.

Simon Moutter

Simon Moutter

Spark CEO Simon Moutter, is spearheading the trade and innovation summit featuring Israeli businesses. This follows on the back of a successful trip to Israel this September with the Trans- Tasman Business Circle in partnership with the Israel Trade Commission.

Today’s meeting has created local tensions: A spokesperson for the Palestine Solidarity Network, Janfrie Wakim, says Israel is trying to foster links with countries such as New Zealand for political and economic reasons.

“The Israeli government knows people throughout the world and are increasingly supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against institutional Israeli racism, and it’s desperately trying to pretend Israel is everyone’s friend by diverting attention away from it’s international crimes,” she says.
Wakim also disputes the possibilities of much trade development with Israel as a result of the summit meeting.

“The Israeli embassy has managed to wheel out the welcome mat for all sorts of New Zealand industry notables at this trade summit, but the reality is Israel has never bought much of our main exports and is never likely to,” says Wakim.

For Moutter, and the Trans-Tasman business circle, the benefits for New Zealand to engage in this Trade and Innovation Summit are clear, and the vision is economic, – not political.

The meeting will foster, build and identify areas of collaboration and best practice. This forum is an excellent opportunity to develop innovation and work with leading organisations, with a particular focus on technology and medicine.

Israel is well known as one of the world’s innovation hot spots  – with one of the world’s highest concentrations of start-ups and is a global leader in research and development.  As early as 1974, Intel had already recognized the country’s strengths and built it’s first R&D plant outside of the United States there.

Israel attracts more per capita in venture capital than any other country in the world and has more companies on the NASDAQ than Korea, Japan, Singapore, China, India, and all of Europe combined.

More than 250 global companies have R&D labs in Israel today, with 80 of them being Fortune 500 companies. Two-thirds are American tech giants such as Facebook and Apple, but there is increasing presence by Chinese and Korean players such as Huawei and Samsung.

Despite it’s size, Israel clearly has a disproportionate impact on global innovation. This legacy will serve a similarly small nation like New Zealand very well.


One Response to “Protests over NZ-Israel Trade Relationships”
  1. Ian Katz says:

    Neo nazi fruitloop janfrie waking isn’t too worried about Asad poison gassing Syrian children again recently. No doubt she would be cheering it. No crimes there of course

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