24 May 2011
On the second day of a 3 day visit to Israel, Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean and Assistant Chief Minister, UK and International Relations, Freddie Cohen today (24 May) opened the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Together with the Chief Executive of TASE, Ester Levanon, Senators Maclean and Cohen rang the bell that officially opens trading in Tel Aviv. TASE plays a major role in the Israeli economy and uses state-of-the-art technology to enable trading in securities of all types, as well as providing the platform for the Israeli Government to bring the public into its businesses as they are privatised.
The ceremony follows a visit yesterday (23 May) to the Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli Government, where both Ministers met with Economic Affairs Spokesman and former World Bank economist, Avishai Braverman. Members of the delegation were also given a privileged insight into the workings of the Knesset when they were invited to observe the assembly in session as VIP guests.
Continuing with the programme of political engagement today (24 May), Senator Maclean met with Deputy Finance Minister, Yitzak Cohen, and Finance Ministry Director General, Haim Shani. Together with Senator Cohen, he also met with Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy, Daniel Seaman, and Foreign Trade Spokesman at the Ministry of Trade, Itai Melchior.
Senator Cohen said “We anticipate it will be of great benefit to the Island that we have been able to engage in positive meetings with so many senior figures in the Israeli Government. Israel is a fast-growing economy and an increasingly important global market for finance and high tech – it's the right time to be strengthening our ties with the country and opening up new opportunities.”
Members of the delegation have also been meeting with major Israeli financial services companies, such as Barclays Capital, HSBC Israel, and Israel’s leading commercial bank, Bank Leumi, which already has a base in Jersey.
Senator Maclean commented “We have attended a number of meetings with some of Israel’s leading financial services companies and legal firms, including Bank Leumi, whose base in Jersey makes it a valued local employer. We look forward to building on this important relationship, and to continuing other productive dialogues that we have established during our time here.”
Both Ministers also attended a lunch yesterday (23 May) with the British Ambassador, HE Matthew Gould MBE, and will be attending a reception this evening (24 May) with British Embassy Commercial Attaché, Richard Salt.