Daily Israel Report

Minister of Industry Heads for Qatar

The last time an Israeli economic minister visited the emirate was in 2001.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/30/2010, 8:01 PM / Last Update: 5/30/2010, 9:36 PM

Flash 90

Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin Ben-Eliezer is scheduled to fly Sunday night to Doha, the capital of Gulf emirate Qatar, to head the Israeli delegation to the World Economic Forum conference there. The Forum conducts several such conferences annually, including the best known one in Davos, Switzerland.

Ben Eliezer will be accompanied by Ministry Director Sharon Kedmi.

The Qatar conference will be devoted to matters of international and regional cooperation, as well as ways of increasing growth in countries the world over after the economic crisis is over. The minister will take part in the panels on this subject and will present his views regarding Israel's role in increasing growth and cooperation worldwide.

Minister Ben Eliezer said before his departure that Israel's participation in the conference is important for positioning Israel as an important regional nation, days after its acceptance into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He explained: "I hope to convince my colleagues from the Middle East and the Gulf States to make use of Israeli abilities especially in the fields of advanced technology, and of Israel's economic strength, in order to break through barriers and thaw the freeze between Israel and its neighbors.”  

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visited Qatar in 2008 and Shimon Peres, then Deputy Prime Minister, visited in 2007. The last visit by an Israeli minister in charge of an economic portfolio was in 2001, when then-Minister for  Industry, Trade and Labor, Eli Ben-Menachem, visited the emirate alongside then-Minister for Regional Cooperation Ronny Milo.