A delegation of 100 Canadian politicians and business leaders arrived in Israel on Sunday in an effort to strengthen ties with the Jewish state.
The delegation includes Ontario province Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, and Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi.
Ten of the world’s largest technology companies have research and development centers in Ontario, Canada’s most-populous province. Israelis are increasingly launching high tech and medical technology companies in the province. The Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva has a production facility near Toronto, Ontario’s capital.
Wynne said that Ontario and Israel share the priority of developing “strong, competitive business environments that support innovation and growth.”
“Ontario’s strengths in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship help us compete globally—and this mission will help us establish Ontario as a top innovation and knowledge economy partner for Israel. Together we will promote the exchange of information and knowledge, seek new opportunities for collaboration, and sign new business agreements that will create economic growth and jobs in both regions,” Wynne said in a reception held before the delegation’s visit to Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
The delegation began its trip in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. On May 19, some of the delegates will also visit the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank. Delegates will visit Israeli businesses, organizations, universities, and research institutes.
BlackBerry, one of the businesses participating in Ontario’s delegation, said it is visiting Israel as part of its goal to “raise [its] profile as a software company,” the Canadian broadcaster CBC reported.