Government Boosts Hi-Tech

Israel is teaming up with IBM Ito help hi-tech companies compete with international markets.

Avraham Zuroff,

IBM's Petach Tikvah Branch
IBM's Petach Tikvah Branch

The Foreign Trade Administration of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor is teaming up with IBM Israel to help Israeli hi-tech companies compete in international markets.  Although the marketplace is flooded with much larger corporations, IBM's Global Technology Unit (GTU) will scout Israeli companies that show promise, brand them as imaginative and familiar with technology, and help them do well in foreign markets.

This is the first time that the ministry is working directly with an international conglomerate in the area of hi-tech. Boaz Hirsch, head of its Foreign Trade Department, said it hopes to take advantage of the experience of companies like IBM to help expand contacts and markets abroad.

The first joint project will get started in the next few days between the ministry and GTU, which is responsible for identifying new technological solutions for the Israeli market. Within the framework of this new initiative, various commercial departments of the Industry Ministry will work with GTU in order to advance Israeli hi-tech companies in the foreign markets.

The director of IBM's European division, Gabi Tal, stated that the joint activities would help highlight Israel’s hi-tech companies in IBM’s global marketing enterprise. He plans to create international business ventures together with the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute and the government’s 35 commercial departments spread across the world.

Global corporations, like IBM, Microsoft, and Google, believe in Israel’s hi-tech potential, and have opened numerous research and development centers throughout the country. IBM began working in Israel in 1949 with three employees, and presently employs about 2,200 in Israel.

With more than 3,000 companies, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world, second only to California’s Silicon Valley. In addition, Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce - 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the US, 70 in Japan, and 60 in Germany.