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Main | International Trade | 6/24/2015

Special Review on FICC's Visits to the U.S.

Updated Israeli statistics show that  Israel exports approximately $18 billion in goods and services to the U.S. but imports only about $8 billion. These unbalanced figures are what led the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce to take action; and implement a focused program for creating awareness among U.S. companies regarding the opportunities waiting for them in Israel.

During the 2nd annual FICC road show to the U.S., FICC President, Mr. Uriel Lynn and VP of Government Affairs, Mr. Dan Carmely, traveled from Washington DC to Cincinnati, Chicago, Indianapolis and other nearby cities, where they met with community leaders, representatives of the local industries, chambers of commerce and trade promotion organizations. Their visit also included business forums aimed directly at U.S. companies that are interested in expanding their business globally in order to present Israel's business potential to American SMEs. 

One of the events was held at the Q-C Waterfront Convention Center, City of Bettendorf, and began with Mr. Lynn's presentation - "Israel as a Market", which revealed the business opportunities within the Israeli market, not only in technology sourcing but also as an export destination. Mr. Lynn emphasized that since the local American market is such a large and independent market providing its local business with a wide range of opportunities, the local business community is not orientated to looking outside the country's borders and do not have the motivation to export globally. Unfortunately, this lack of motivation leads to the overlooking of a potentially very strong and interesting market. (Lynn Pushes for More U.S. Exports - Quad City - Business Journal)

Mr. Lynn addresed  audiences in various similar events, organized together with the local branches of the Jewish Federation who were great supporters of the event and brought local companies to attend. 

Allan Ross, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Quad-Cities who participated in the convention said: “Israel is a world leader in many areas such as Agritech, computer sciences, alternative energy, medical devices, and communications and imports to sustain growth. This opportunity for small and medium-size Quad-City businesses to connect with Israeli companies and identify export partnerships could result in job growth for our local economy. That would be a win-win situation for all.”(Quad - City, Business Journal)

Also attending was Michael Traison, President of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Chicago who suggested that Israeli business people become charter members of a Quad-City satellite division, or link, of his office. 

The chamber also met with local organizations such as mayors and heads of chambers of commerce in Washington D.C, Bettendorf, Iowa, Peoria, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio. In light of the MOU signed between the FICC and the Cincinnati USA Partnership in 2012, both parties agreed to expand their relations in creating a variety of trade activities. Following the close relations established  between these organizations, Mr. Lynn's visit to Cincinnati was indispensible.(Journal Star-Israel Wants To Do Business with Central Illinois)  

During the visit, Lynn and Carmely met with Ellen Van der Horst, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and Sarah Weiss, Director of the local Jewish Federation. As part of establishing commercial relationships between Israeli companies and  local businesses from Ohio, a special  breakfast program and B2B session were held for the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce who met with companies from Cincinnati's leading sectors: Biotech, IT, water, and aerospace & defense. Local Cincinnati companies also participated in a "Doing Business in Israel" panel where they learned about Israel's hottest business sectors and about locating Israeli buyers, distributors and agents. 

The FICC's 1st U.S. road show took place in July 2012 and included interesting visits to Cleveland, Ohio and Savannah, Georgia. The Cleveland program included a special business forum with Donald L. Plusquellic, Mayor of the City of Akron and Alan Schonberg, Chairman of the Ohio-Israel Chamber of Commerce. In this event the Northwest Ohio International Business Network (NEINB) presented on finding business opportunities with Ohio SME companies in Food, Oil and Gas Technologies, Consumer Products and much more. One of the main discussions of this forum was the advantages offered under the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement and as well as information on locating buyers and distributors in Israel. 

Following the business seminar, there were B2B meetings organized between local companies and FICC executives. The next stop of the trip was  Savannah, Georgia, where FICC leaders met with the local mayor, Edna Jackson, and held a business seminar on "Exporting to Israel". Georgian exporters, interested to increase their international sales, attended the event; heard about the "hot" Israeli business sectors as well as tips on exporting to Israel and held one on one meetings with FICC executives
The visit to Savannah also led to an additional Israeli business delegation to The Georgia Logistics Summit in Atlanta during the following March. The delegation comprised of representatives of the following companies: The Israel Ports Development & Assets Company (IPC), Fourtec-Fourier Technologies, ZIM Integrated Shipping, Starcom Systems and Top Image Systems, along with FICC's executives, the Government of Israel's Economic Office in the Southern Region, the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast and the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce in the SE Region.
For more information about FICC:

Uriel Lynn, President of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, Was Elected Last Week, among the Top Ranking Positions, To Serve on the General Council of the World Chambers Federation (WCF), the Leading Business Organization in the World

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha5ov5tuJ7s -Uriel Lynn on "The cities"- WQPT

To contact FICC International Trade Relations Division - click here  

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