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'Big Sky Country' Trade Delegates Visit Small State of Israel

A trade delegation from Montana is visiting Israel to close sales deals and open new relationships.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 5/30/2010, 10:45 AM / Last Update: 5/30/2010, 11:08 AM

A delegation of some 20 business leaders from the American Midwestern state of Montana is in Israel this week to explore new opportunities in the Jewish State. Led by Lt. Governor John Bohlinger and the Montana World Trade Center at the University of Montana, the international business development mission is touring Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from May 29 to June 3.

Representatives from the trade team of U.S. Senator Max Baucus are along for the trip as well. The senator is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

“Israel is one of American's largest trading partners and one of the most educated, entrepreneurial and innovative societies on Earth,” Bohlinger told The Missoulian. He added that the delegation is hoping to lay the groundwork for building new ties in energy-related and high-tech business.

Arnie Sherman, executive director of the Montana WTC, noted that Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other outside of North America. That small fact “speaks volumes,” he said, and “illustrates how important it is for Montana to develop relationships – both business and academic – in this region, particularly with its access to Eastern Europe and Africa. Montana exports to Israel have been increasing as of late, and we want to build on that positive trend.”