For Immediate Release
May 30, 2017
HARRISBURG - Working to promote economic ties between Pennsylvania, the United States and Israel, PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr was pleased to recently travel with 16 of his fellow chamber executives from across the nation to help launch the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Israel initiative. This multi-year program will bring executives from leading business organizations across the U.S. to Israel to encourage international collaboration between the nations and boost economic growth.
“With our plethora of natural resources, diverse and innovative industries – particularly in the energy, tech and healthcare sectors – and our motivated workforce, Pennsylvania has a lot to offer on both a national and international level,” said Barr, who also serves on the U.S. Chamber’s board. “This trip was an eye-opening experience as we met with our Israeli counterparts to discuss our shared objectives toward increased partnership and new economic opportunities. Together, we collectively agree that the U.S. Chamber’s Business Israel initiative will help to foster a mutually beneficial commercial relationship between Israel, individual states and the United States as a whole.”
Business Israel will bring state and local chamber executives from all 50 states to Israel over the next three years to expand markets for American exports and attract investment to the U.S., as well as collaborate with Israeli companies in sectors such as water and agriculture, cybersecurity and health. The program is a partnership between the U.S. Chamber and the Israel-American Chamber of Commerce.
America’s first free trade agreement was with Israel in 1985. There are more companies listed on the NASDAQ exchange from Israel than from any country other than the U.S. In fact, forty percent of all investment into the U.S. from the Middle East region comes from Israel. Israel is the second largest importer of U.S. goods in its region, despite representing only two percent of the population. Additionally, the Israeli city of Tel Aviv is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Sister Cities Program.
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.