Herbert In Israel With Utah Trade Delegation
Published by the Standard-Examiner 04/24/13: http://www.standard.net/stories/2013/04/24/herbert-israel-utah-trade-delegation
Herbert in Israel with Utah trade delegation
By Contributed, Standard-Examiner
JERUSALEM – As part of this week’s Utah trade mission to Israel, Gov. Gary R. Herbert participated in meetings with local officials and dignitaries, including Israel’s President Shimon Peres and the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, Salam Fayyad.
“The common characteristics, values and economic strengths between the State of Utah and Israel make this trade mission a good fit and unique opportunity,” Herbert said. “There are indeed meaningful possibilities for enhanced economic cooperation and vitality between the Beehive State and Israel.”
Herbert met with Peres in the President’s residence in Jerusalem. President Peres said he liked Herbert’s optimism, noting, “Optimists and pessimists end up the same way. It’s how they live that’s different.” The ninth and current President of Israel, Peres has served twice as prime minister of Israel and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the Oslo Accords.
Earlier in the day, Herbert was accompanied by Michael Ratney, United States Consul General in Jerusalem, when the Governor presented a photo book about Utah and a plate featuring the Utah state seal to Fayyad. Following diplomatic protocols, the two leaders discussed the interest of the Utah business delegation in exploring trade and investment opportunities with Palestinian companies. Wednesday’s meeting in Ramallah garnered significant local attention, marking the first time in modern memory that a U.S. governor has taken a business delegation into the West Bank.
“It was a rare privilege to meet today with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and business leaders in Ramallah to exchange views and explore areas of mutual interest,” Herbert said. “It is our hope that these historic meetings in the West Bank – between the Utah delegation and Palestinian leaders – will not only open up new opportunities and new markets for Utah and Palestine, but also lead to greater peace and prosperity through economic development.”
After the meeting with Fayyad, the Utah delegation met with local business leaders at a lunch hosted by the Palestinian-American Chamber of Commerce. The local business and professional organization focused on fostering increased trade and investment relations between the United States and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. After inviting the Prime Minister to bring a trade delegation of Palestinian business leaders to Utah, Herbert offered brief remarks.
Later Herbert and the Utah delegation met with Dr. Stanley Fischer, Governor of the Bank of Israel, an MIT professor and one of Israel’s most prestigious economists. Fischer is credited with helping Israel weather the Great Recession better than any western economy, minimizing economic loss and winning the praise of Israelis across the political spectrum.
Coordinated by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Utah’s trade mission to Israel will conclude at the end of this week.