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Jewish Times Asia March 2015

Business News

Israel participates in Vibrant Gujarat 2015 Israel participated at the recent Vibrant Gujarat 2015 expo summit held in India. The Israeli national pavilion entitled “Israel Innovation in India” exhibited ongoing Indo-Israeli cooperation and showcased advanced Israeli technologies in the fields of agriculture and homeland security. Israel’s Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir headed the Israeli delegation to the summit, accompanied by Gil Haskel, Head of MASHAV, Israel’s Agency of International Development Cooperation, officials from the

ter Recycling, Irrigation Panel, Post-Harvest Management and Dairy,” and the other “Innovation and Technology in Food Processing for Sustaining Food Security”. Israel’s Minister Shamir was the keynote speaker at this event.

Israel Pavilion

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and representatives from various Israeli companies.

In addition, two seminars organised by the Embassy of Israel in India took place during the event. The first was on “Wa-

Israel is second only to Silicon Valley in total investment according to Samsung Electronics to monitor a patient’s vital signs without attaching the device to the patient’s body. This product is placed under the patient’s bed and transmits information wirelessly to a smartphone.

South Korean company Samsung has become a significant investor in Israeli start-ups during the past year. This according to an article published on Globes Israel Business News. Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn told Globes that the electronics giant invested in eight Israeli companies in 2014. “We are no longer the giant that buys companies, but rather a partner. This is a change in our thinking. We invest a lot of money in start-ups around the world. Our investments have reached US$1.4 billion, to date. Our investments start at US$250,000, and can reach as much as US$25 million.” Sohn declined to reveal the total amount that Samsung has invested in Israeli companies. “We don’t just provide money to start-ups. We allow them to participate in our incubator.” Sohn says that Israel is second only to Silicon Valley in total investment from Samsung. Sohn said, “Our most recent investment in Israel was in EarlySense. Through our invest-

Young Sohn

ment in them, we are helping to make the product commercially viable. “We want to take a leading role in what we call ‘the smart life era.’ We have a close partnership with the Israeli start-up community, and Israel, as one of the global centers of entrepreneurship and innovation, certainly interests us, as a base for future technologies that can influence the lives of millions,” Sohn added. Samsung has also invested in Israeli companies such as StoreDot, which is developing technology to charge a smartphone in two minutes, RePlay, developer of FreeD technology, which creates 3-dimensional 360° video. EarlySense is a developer of hardware that makes it possible

Another company is MV4D, which creates “4D” videos, which can, for example, create a video of a girl dancing, in which it’s possible to switch the background, and to add props to her virtual surroundings.

Sohn explained which Israeli start-up fields Samsung is seeking to invest in: “As an electronics company, we need to know what people want, for example, better health. We want a product that knows more about health. What exists today is a toy, what will exist in the future is very important to us. Another field is security. We need a product that knows how to analyse the security that each person needs for his or her data. Another field is communications there are still opportunities to improve the interfaces. For example, for a device to recognize the user when he or she unlocks the phone, and know what the user wants.”

During the expo, Israel and India signed a Joint Declaration on the commencement of the third phase of the Indo-Israel Agricultural Cooperation Project, further strengthening and widening the bilateral agricultural development cooperation between the two countries. In the current three-year work plan, Israel and India are in the process of establishing 29 centres of excellence for agriculture in 10 Indian states, including Gujarat. The agreement was signed in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, by Head of MASHAV Ambassador Gil Haskel and Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary, India’s Mission for Integrated Development in Horticulture (MIDH), in the presence of Israel’s Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir and the Minister of State of Agriculture of India Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya on 11 January.

During a special meeting which took place at the summit in Gandhinagar, Minister Shamir and Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, expressed their intention to establish a joint working group on agriculture and food processing to examine new crop diversification techniques which could be effectively used in India.

Gujarat and Israel share much in common, from having arid land and the challenge of water scarcity, to being vibrant and a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. The ongoing mutual endeavours between Israel and Gujarat include projects in agriculture, industrial research and development, solar and thermal power, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, water recycling and water desalination plants.

Netafim, the world’s largest drip irrigation company is headquartered (in India) in Vadodara and many farmers in the state are benefiting from the use of Israeli techniques. Around 30 Israeli companies participated in the expo summit.

StartupEast and NUS announce programme for Israeli startups Announced in February, StartupEast, an Israel-Asian accelerator, and the National University of Singapore (NUS), will team up to create a new programme for Israeli startups.

The programme will be divided between Israel and Asia, allowing Israeli entrepreneurs the chance to meet clients, partners and investors from Singapore and to receive mentoring and launch product pilots. StartupEast’s mission is to create and nurture a large community from which joint

successful Israeli-pan-Asian startups are to be established. The programme will be hosted at Block71, NUS’s open-space hub in the centre of Singapore. The companies that are able to succeed in Asia will be able to take advantage of StartupEast’s collaboration with the Synergy China Fund, giving them a foot-in in China. StartupEast aims to connect Israeli and Asian startups and investors through joint-sided acceleration programmes, as well as boot camps and training sessions.

Israel diamonds to shine at Hong Kong March Jewellery Fair The Israeli Diamond Industry will have a major showing at HKTDC’s Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show this March with a large contingent of exhibitors and an enlarged pavilion. In addition, Israeli diamond jewellery will be the stars of the event’s Gala Dinner fashion show.

The Israel Diamond Pavilion, organised by the Israel Diamond Institute Group of

Companies (IDI), will this year host 115 companies. There will also be about 30 Israeli companies exhibiting in other locations throughout the show. Among the Israeli exhibitors there will be 11 companies that are participating in this show for the first time. Once again IDI will be the sole sponsors of the event’s Gala Dinner. This year for the first time, the gala will feature a fashion show of models wearing Israeli diamond jewellery.

addition to Hong Kong, Israel supplies polished diamonds to China, India, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and other Asian markets.

Jewellery by Israeli companies Sorum, Shlomo Bichachi, Aharonoff Creations, Leibish & Co., Yakubov Group and Moti Kashi will be featured.

The Israel Diamond Pavilion at the Diamond Hall at the AsiaWorld-Expo has been expanded to 1,560 square metres. This year it will include a luxury lounge, with all day refreshments and “Find Your Diamond” terminals which enables buyers to search the inventory of all Israeli exhibitors at the

show to find the exact diamonds they are seeking. Hong Kong is Israel’s second largest market for polished diamonds, representing close to 30% of total polished diamond exports. In

IDI Chairman Moti Ganz said: “The demand for polished diamonds in Asia is growing and the potential is huge. More and more, diamonds are being viewed in Asia as a prime luxury item. There is also increased interest in diamonds as an investment channel.”


March 2015 • Volume 9 • Issue 10 • Adar / Nissan 5775