Commercial and Industrial Club meets with 3 Latin American Ambassadors in Israel

On November 22th the Commercial and Industrial Club (CIC) held a reunion and discussion panel at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Tel Aviv. CIC is an association dedicated exclusive to business executives and selected professionals from various disciplines in Israel.

Established in Tel Aviv in 1938, CIC is a meeting point for members from fields ranging from industry, high end technology, banking and finance, consulting, law, accounting, engineering and business. The objectives of the CIC reunions are to promote interaction and create networks between the members of the club and their guests. As such, these reunions offer a vast opportunity for the exchange of ideas and business initiatives both in and outside the club.

Customarily, all reunions consist of a discussion panel or a lecture on current affairs, both foreign and domestic. Thus on this occasion, the panel was composed of Latin American Ambassadors in Israel, HE Maria Elise Berenguer Brazilian Ambassador, HE Bernardo Greiver,  Ambassador of Uruguay, and Federico Salas Ambassador of Mexico.  The embassadors engaged the public with an important analysis on political and economic cooperation between Latin America and Israel.
During her speech, the Ambassador of Brazil reminded the audience that Brazil is currently the sixth world economy. In recent years it has developed programs for the country’s population living below the poverty line by constructing industrial parks and thereby creating new jobs. “This development increased service needs of education, health and its derivatives. Additionally, under the strength of our economy, over 50% of the population is in the strata related to the middle-class areas income. Undoubtedly, this constitutes an unprecedented success.” she explained.

Regarding investment between Brazil and Israel, “from 2001 to 2009 a stream of investments that exceeded all expectations for both Brazil and Israel was developed. In 2011 alone the investment was $ 70 million”. These figures doubled in the last five years, the diplomat remarked.

However, “The bilateral trade data are less encouraging in markets of the Middle East, where Israel is currently in fourth place in the field of bilateral trade relations. Israel’s Prime Minister said that there is still much to be done between our countries to bulster the potential of both. To this end, Brazil is processing a reform in the tax system in order to facilitate foreign investment in our country. ”

On his behalf, the Mexican Ambassador noted that “Trade relations between Mexico and Israel had an extraordinary increase in recent years. In 2011, we see that the increase was 4% under the successful management of the global crisis in which we are immersed.”

“We must exploit the potential of our business relationships. Latin America is mainly composed of democratic countries with market economies and established bilateral and multilateral trade agreements according to international standards. In our region more than 40% of the population is above the poverty line. Additionally, our language and the similarities of our cultures allow regional integration conducive to commercial and industrial development,” Mr. Salas added.

“Mexico’s economy is number 14 in the world. It is among the top 10 exporting nations, presenting a diversity of clients in all areas of global commerce. Among the 43 nations with which we trade, Israel has exceptional potential which we must exploit properly. The system of free trade between our countries could successfully overcome the aftermath of the global crisis,” the Mexican Ambassador concluded.

At the podium, speaking in Hebrew, the Uruguayan Ambassador thanked the CIC for their invitation to the event, especially Orly Avrahami and Jaime Aron.

Following days of reciprocal shelling between Israel and Hamas, the Ambassador deemed it important to “greet the ceasefire,” hoping it would last as long as possible. He also expressed his most profound solidarity with all the victims and their families.

In 1948 Uruguay became the fourth country in the world, as well as the first in Latin America, to establish an Embassy in Israel.  Commemorating this landmark event, Mr. Greiver presented the fourth original document emitted by the government of Israel in 1948, appointing Ambassador Tzur in Montevideo

The Uruguayan diplomat spoke of the emerging Latin American economy that is rising in the face of economic hardship coming from developed economies which makes the former a dynamic zone that offers plenty of opportunities. He further stressed that there is infinite potential that can come from combining Latin America’s natural resources and Israeli technology.

The Ambassador detailed that political and economic cooperation between Uruguay and Israel began with the signing of a free trade agreement in 2007. Two years later both countries had implemented such agreement, resulting in vast commercial growth that escalates to 200% since its commencement.

Uruguay is recognized internationally as a stable, democratic and transparent country, ranking among developed countries regarding the durability of its economic institutions and vibrancy of its political culture, stressed the diplomat. This places the country as one of the most prosperous and peaceful in the region, making it conducive to successful investment and trade.

The Ambassador concluded his lecture by reminding the audience that during the days of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, when people celebrate the miracles of antiquity, that “we believe that after two thousand years it is time for another miracle to take place and that miracle is peace.”

After the discussion panels and lectures, the members and guests enjoyed a cocktail to further discuss the issues at hand among each other and the lecturers. It is expected that such interactions may influence political leaders and enhance the possibility of collaboration between organizations, politicians, and business entrepreneurs at different levels.

Originally published: World of Diplomacy in Israel

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