AN INNOVATIVE AND TECHNOLOGICALLY SAVVY TRADING PARTNER
With an annual GDP of just over $500 billion, Israel has a large economy relative to the size of its population (8.4 million). Israel is the 29th-largest economy in the world, but does not even rank in the top 100 for population. Israel has a highly educated population and a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, with particular strength in the high-tech sector; it ranks in the top 20 in the world in terms of GDP per capita.
After shrinking by just 2.2% in 2020, Israel’s economy grew rapidly in 2021, logging 8.2% growth, and is on track to grow 5% in 2022. A free trade agreement is in place with the U.S. to ease the flow of imports and exports by reducing barriers and promoting regulatory transparency. Israel imported $12.9 billion in goods from the U.S. in 2021, $189 million of which came from Wisconsin. With high personal purchasing power and an affinity for U.S.-made products, Israel is a market of opportunity for Wisconsin exporters.
MAKING BUSINESS CONNECTIONS VIRTUALLY
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is organizing a virtual Global Trade Venture to Israel from Jan. 23 to 27, 2023, to help Wisconsin companies connect with export partners in the market. This Global Trade Venture offers a chance to explore new market opportunities in the Middle East and take advantage of Israel’s connections to the rest of the region—all at an affordable price without the expense of airfare or lodging involved.
Participants benefit from the firsthand knowledge of Wisconsin’s in-market trade representatives, receiving market intelligence customized for their company, industry and product/service offerings. One-on-one meetings are arranged based on each company’s specific needs; all participants need to do is show up ready to make their pitch and ask questions to determine if the potential partner is a good fit. Because of the time difference, meetings will be held at times that are the morning in Wisconsin and late afternoon or evening in Israel. Experienced exporters are welcome to take part in this program, as well as companies that are new to exporting but have found success in the U.S. and have offerings that are well aligned with the Israeli market.
In addition to a customized meeting schedule, each participant in the trade venture will receive a market assessment for Israel, detailing considerations to keep in mind when introducing their product or service into these markets. WEDC has eyes and ears on the ground, in the form of Wisconsin’s in-market authorized trade representative—thus making it easier for Wisconsin companies to find local partners they can trust, taking some of the guesswork out of launching in new markets or growing in markets where a company already exports. With all your appointments arranged for you, you can focus on business rather than logistics and scheduling. The program will include an orientation webinar as well as mentoring of participating companies to ensure a successful outcome from scheduled meetings.
The strength and diversity of Israel’s economy have insulated it against the worst impacts of the pandemic and enabled it to bounce back faster and stronger than many other world economies. Once a manufacturing-focused economy with an emphasis on textiles, diamonds, furniture, food processing, pesticides, chemicals, rubber, plastics and metals, Israel became a leader in defense manufacturing due to the need for self-defense. In recent decades, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, electronics and software have become important sectors of the economy, and Israel spends 4.9% of its annual GDP on research and development—more than any other OECD country. Israel is also a hotspot for agricultural technology, known for innovative farming methods as well as cutting-edge irrigation and water technology solutions.
Companies in the following sectors are especially encouraged to participate in this Global Trade Venture:
- Medical devices
- Medical equipment
- Water technology
- Water treatment chemicals
- Defense and security
- Premium processed foods (e.g., gourmet, gluten-free, organic) with kosher certification