When I arrived in Israel in September 2010, I made it one of my priorities to build on the strong business links that already existed between our countries and take the relationship to the next level.
Trade is a vital component of a bilateral relationship. Two-way trade between our countries hit a record high in 2010, topping £3 billion. My goal is to get it to £4 billion by the time I leave.
Top of my commercial ‘to do' list is to strengthen the partnership between Britain and Israel in high tech. I am determined that this co-operation becomes a key part of the UK-Israel relationship, driving economic growth in both countries.
The UK has just published a White Paper on Economic Growth. It is telling that the only country with a specific commitment is Israel - it is now a national objective for us to promote the high tech partnership between the UK and Israel. To do this, we are setting up a High Tech Hub inside the British embassy - a dedicated team to build partnerships in high tech between British and Israeli companies.
I am also keen to encourage more Israeli companies to set up in the UK. Over 300 Israeli companies are already operating successfully there. We have a lot to offer - we are close, we have a skilled labor force, market access to Europe, and a Government 100% committed to helping Israeli companies make a success of investing in the UK.
I can honestly say that in my short time in Israel, it has already exceeded all our expectations. The relationship is strong, but it could be stronger still.
So I hope you will stay in touch with the UK Trade & Investment team at the Embassy, which does a fantastic job supporting British businesses in Israel, and helping Israeli companies set up in the UK.
British Ambassador to Israel