Governor Mike Pence will be spending Christmas in Israel. State officials say Pence will visit cultural sites and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, business leaders and other government officials.
December 9, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Governor Mike Pence will depart on a nine-day trip to Israel later this month, which will include visits to cultural sites and a three-day jobs mission to meet with government and business leaders to expand economic ties between Indiana and Israel.
“Israel is a global entrepreneurial hotspot,” said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “Israelis are launching new businesses at a tremendous rate, and that’s triggering economic and job growth that’s primed to expand to the United States. With Indiana's strength in life sciences, technology and advanced manufacturing, our mission is to make sure that Israeli leaders know that Indiana's business climate is innovative and always growing—similar to the business climate they've grown in Israel.”
During the trip, the Governor will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials, as well as leaders of Israeli companies and potential investors in key innovation sectors, including life sciences, technology and advanced manufacturing, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He will visit executives at aerospace technology developer Israel Aerospace Industries and automotive electronics manufacturer Taditel, which has operations in Anderson, Indiana. The Governor will also give remarks at an event hosted by the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce.
Israel is the only country with free trade agreements with both the United States and the European community, and more than 70 Hoosier companies do business there, including Magnavox, Alcoa, Allied-Singal, Biomet and ITT Aerospace. In 2013, Indiana exports to Israel totaled more than $57.2 million. In addition, the Binational Science Foundation, an independent association that promotes scientific relations between Israel and the United States, has provided grants of more than $3.5 million since 1996 to Indiana higher education institutions, including Purdue University, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame.
“Hoosiers have cherished our relationship with the people of Israel for generations. As we look ahead, deepening our ties with the people, businesses and state of Israel remains a commitment that will empower us as partners,” said Pence. “Grounded in our shared values and our hope for the future, today our friendship is highlighted by a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit shared between our two nations. That spirit is painting a landscape today with companies ready to cross oceans to further our bond together. My hope is that we will demonstrate firsthand our commitment to strengthening the Indiana-Israel relationship through this trip and beyond.”
Secretary of Commerce Smith and Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) staff will accompany the Governor for the three-day economic development portion of the trip, building practical connections between Indiana and Israel in business, academia and research and development. The cost of the state delegation is being covered through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation. The IEDC’s contractor in Israel is assisting with trip arrangements.
The Governor’s family will travel with him to Israel to celebrate Christmas in Jerusalem and also tour a number of Christian holy sites. The trip expenses of Governor Pence and First Lady Karen Pence are being covered by Christians United for Israel; no tax dollars will be used. The Governor and First Lady will personally pay for the travel expenses of their three children.
This will be Pence’s fifth international trade mission as Governor. He led his first gubernatorial jobs mission to Japan in September 2013, followed by trade missions to Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada this year.
Source: The Office of Governor Mike Pence