Netanyahu to Mexican businesspeople: Invest in Israel

Netanyahu meets 16 leading Mexican businesspeople, discusses opportunities in the Israeli market.

Nitsan Keidar,

Netanyahu and Mexican businesspeople
Netanyahu and Mexican businesspeople
Avi Ohayon/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday met in Mexico City with 16 leading Mexican businesspeople and discussed with them opportunities in the Israeli market and the potential for investment in advanced Israeli technologies.

Netanyahu briefed the businesspeople on the developing Israeli cyber and vehicle industries and called on them to invest in Israel. He also invited them to hold their next meeting in Israel.

“We now have an expanding car industry. What is that industry?” said Netanyahu.

“We have 500 startup companies in automotive technologies. They are receiving, until recently, 3.5 billion dollars a year of investment. We had nothing to do with it – the government didn't invest a penny in this, it just happened by itself. These people are producing things like Waze. Do they use Waze in Mexico? No? Well, it's an Israeli company that was sold for nothing – a billion dollars, to Google. I say nothing because it's probably worth many times over that by now.”

“But another company was just sold for 15 billion dollars, and it's called Mobileye, and it basically does autonomous vehicles through artificial intelligence and the collation of data from censors on the car. 15 billion dollars. I think it was also sold cheap.”

“In any case Intel gave Mobileye, a company in Jerusalem, the keys to 30 of their businesses worldwide, so they can develop it. We didn't do anything. If you went to Israel 10 years ago, you would not see… you would see maybe Mobileye, but none of these other companies, virtually none of them existed. We're creating technologies and we're creating industries and markets almost out of thin air.”

“Here's another one that's growing very rapidly – cyber. In cyber we invested. We invested quite a bit, because we invest in our intelligence services, but as a deliberate policy we allow the graduates of our intelligence services to form startups and to be able to join, to make partnerships with others – with other companies, with other nationals and so on. And that's growing.”

“Israel now accounts for 20% of the global private investment in cyber security. That's 200 times our size in the general population. This is an industry that grew out of nothing. Well, it's growing out of the internet economy. And the internet is like a roaring tiger and on the tiger is a little kitten. A big kitten. It's the kitten of cyber security. As the one grows, the other grows, and this by the way is an infinite business because there will never be a cyber-security solution. It's endless.”

Netanyahu also said, “What better market, what better country to wed Israeli innovation to than Mexico? Mexico is emerging rapidly, it will be a giant. We believe in Mexico and I know that many in Mexico believe in Israel. We have a Jewish community that serves as a human bridge between our two countries and our two cultures and I admire Mexican culture.”

“I think that if we can combine our resources we can have a tremendous impact for the people of Mexico, for the people of the world, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the way we organize our lives, our societies – this could be vastly improved by innovation. Israel is the innovation nation, Mexico can be, Mexico and Israel can have a tremendous partnership,” he added.

“I hope that this visit, and my meeting with President Nieto will mark—How shall I say this? It sounds like Casablanca—the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Well, the continuation of a beautiful friendship. And I thank you for assisting me,” the Prime Minister told the businesspeople.