A trade mission from the West Coast State of Oregon is touring Israel to promote clean tech and environmental technology, along with defense and security industries.
Governor Ted Kulongoski landed in Israel Tuesday, hoping to increase Oregon’s export business to Israel, which amounted to $109 million last year. Academic, business and government officials are accompanying him on the tour. He previously led a trade mission to Israel two years ago.
Before leaving Oregon, the governor said that Israel is “as far ahead as any country in the world on renewable energy. Israel is a world leader in sustainability, high-tech and software development and electric vehicles. There is much untapped expertise and venture capital in Israel that could benefit our state greatly if relationships are developed and partnerships are fostered.”
He will visit Intel’s huge new factory in Kiryat Gat, located about 20 miles north of Be’er Sheva. The large chip-making company recently announced a major expansion at a facility in Oregon.
"There is tremendous opportunity for Oregon to learn from the work the Israeli government is doing to electrify its transportation system and establish sustainable water conservation systems," Gov. Kulongoski said.
He is scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation with Israel, and Oregon business leaders recently have established an Oregon-Israel Business Alliance to create new business ties with Israel.
Likely business spots for the mission are BrightSource, which recently was publicly endorsed by U.S. President Barack Obama for a large solar power plant in the western United States, and the geothermal firm Ormat.