The 2011 Edition of the UK-Israel Business Directory is another tangible evidence for the outstanding achievements of the bi-lateral economic relations between the two countries. Moreover, it opens a wider window to the enormous potential for future relations. In 2010 the mutual trade reached a record of 3 billion pounds, with a slight Israeli surplus. Unprecedented two-way movements of capital, know-how and services are visible across all business sectors. It is hard not to notice the gap between the ways Israel is being treated by certain groups in the British public versus the deep appreciation expressed by the business community for the Israeli economy.
Many of such achievements in the bilateral space can be attributed to initiatives and infrastructure-type of actions that the two governments have taken over the years. They include trade agreements with the EU, bilateral treaties for investment protection or avoidance of double-taxation, high-level official visits and various marketing initiatives by the economic sections of both the London and Tel-Aviv embassies.
Against that backdrop it is extremely encouraging to witness the current effort by the British government to regard the cooperation with Israel on High Tech as a strategic goal. The British Ambassador himself devotes much of his time for that purpose and even finds ways to increase his professional staff in spite of the current austerity measures in UK public spending. July 2011 saw the visit of a Lord Mayor of the City of London in Israel, a second of its kind in three years, leading the efforts to promote British financial and professional services. On the Israeli public sector side the Israel Export Institute should be praised for their initiatives to promote business in the UK of specialised industries such as cleantech, new media, software services for the financial market or water technologies.
At the end of the day, it is the mission of the private sector, supported by its representative organizations, to deliver new business success stories. This directory is devoted to them, with our sincere hope that it will help create new ideas and attractive initiatives, bringing the economic relations between Israel and the UK to new highs.