Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne is currently in Israel on a five-day trade mission together 130 government officials, academics, scientists and business leaders, as well as representatives of BlackBerry, IBM Canada, Roots Canada, Scotiabank and the Toronto Stock Exchange. While in Israel the delegation will visit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, as well as Ramallah and Bethlehem, and Wynne will receive the Presidents' Award at the University of Tel Aviv, where she will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
The mission was originally announced on June 22, 2015 when Wynne received the Words & Deeds Award, a joint undertaking between the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, which is presented annually to leaders who promote tolerance, inclusion and civil discourse.
Israel is Ontario’s fifth largest trading partner, behind the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Hong Kong and China. In 2015, two-way trade between Ontario and Israel was valued at just under $1 billion dollars, $800,000 of which were imports from Israel that included medications, diamonds, telephone equipment, turbojets, engine parts and medical instruments.
In May of last year, Ontario and Israel renewed a Memorandum of Understanding on Industrial and Technological Research and Development Cooperation which was signed 10 years ago and which, to date, helped connect over 680 researchers and generate 15 industry-led research and development projects. After completion, the Memorandum is projected to generate over $1 billion in revenues.
Prior to departing on the trade mission, Wynne said that Israeli is a priority market for Ontario and that she intends to find new opportunities and build new partnerships with Ontario’s Israeli counterparts.