Moscow and Israel: global innovation economy centers

Days of Moscow in Israel took place in 4 cities: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Netanya.

Days of Moscow in Israel kicked off in Netanya. War veterans and Moscow government representatives headed by Minister, Head of the Moscow Department of External Economic Affairs and International Relations Sergey Cheremin gathered next to the memorial that marks the victory of the Red Army over Nazi Germany. The event was also attended by the Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein, Mayor of Netanya Miriam Feirberg-Ikar, and other officials.

“Today we’re opening Days of Moscow in this location for a reason, because we want to thank our veterans. They are the ones who gave us the opportunity to gather here under the blue skies today,” said Sergey Cheremin during his speech at the ceremony of laying wreaths at the monument.

“On behalf of the Mayor of Moscow, on behalf of all Muscovites, I want to thank the Government of Israel, the Netanya administration for the courageous decision to erect this monument. Because unfortunately we are still encountering manifestations of fascism, nationalism, violence and terrorism,” Sergey Cheremin said, “Today many countries are taking down monuments to the Red Army, history is being re-written, so this is why this recognition of the Red Army soldiers who put an end to fascism and the Holocaust is especially important for us. Today I want to wish all veterans who live in Israel the best of health. Stay with us for as long as possible,” the Minister said.

In turn, Miriam Feirberg-Ikar pointed out that the ceremony, which took place between the Day of Catastrophe (a day commemorating Jewish people that became victims of Nazism during WWII) and the Day of Remembering the Israel Defense Army, symbolizes respect for the Russian Federation. “We must take every opportunity to highlight the enormous contribution Russia made to the victory over Nazis. This monument expresses our feelings and gratitude to Red Army soldiers, thanks to whom the Jewish people survived,” the Mayor of Netanya said.

The Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein expressed his gratitude to the Government of Moscow for organizing the Days of Moscow in Israel. “This is a very large-scale event of cultural, humanitarian, intellectual and economic significance that I am sure will make a contribution to the development of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Israel,” the ambassador said.

Within the scope of Days of Moscow in Israel, a business forum called “Moscow - Israel: Global Innovation Economy Centers” took place in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of businessmen from both capitals discussed prospects for further development of mutually beneficial cooperation.

“Moscow is a very attractive market that has tremendous investment potential,” Minister and Head of the Moscow Department of External Economic Affairs and International Relations Sergey Cheremin during his speech, “In many ways this brings us closer to Israel, which is often referred to as a ‘startup nation.’ Israel is also unique because it has managed to establish a microclimate for developing advanced technology and implementing the most interesting inventions. We have a lot to learn from our colleagues in Israel in this respect.”

Moscow has started to change in the past few years, especially in terms of legislation. Not long ago the City Duma adopted a law on the protection of investment from non-commercial risks, which allows investors to get compensated for losses and insufficient profits. “This is the first time we’ve passed this kind of law. Moscow is a leader among all regions of the Russian Federation in this sense,” Sergey Cheremin said.

The Government of Moscow continues to pay special attention to the development of all key sectors of the economy, especially transportation infrastructure. “Many people probably know that just a few years ago the Russian capital was a leader in terms of traffic jams. Moscow authorities have put in maximum efforts to tackle the problem at its core,” the Minister said. over the past five years, 500 kilometers of first class roads have been built, along with transport interchanges. Underground tunnels and pedestrian crossings are always under construction, which allowed Moscow to receive the status of a leader in the sphere of public transportation development. “last year, our city was awarded the title of leader in the sphere of public transportation development in Leipzig,” the Head of the Moscow Department of External Economic Affairs and International Relations said.

“The Russian capital is home to almost 50% of all foreign investment in Russia. Investment volumes are constantly growing, in spite of the consequences of the economic sanctions imposed by the West. They had a negative effect for some time, especially on the banking sphere in terms of liquidity. But Russia was able to withstand the hit. in 2017, the Ministry of Economic Development is forecasting an economic growth of 1.5-2% for the first time in the last few years,” the minister announced.

In 2017, there will be a total of 45 technoparks in Moscow. “We are on a parallel course with Israel here, which also attaches great importance to innovative startups,” Sergey Cheremin said. At the same time, the Minister regretfully pointed out that Moscow is not one of Israel’s top trade partners, coming in 33rd with a total volume of $560 million. “We think that the potential is a lot greater, especially when it comes to developing advanced technology, medicine, and the agricultural sector,” Sergey Cheremin said. He pointed out that Moscow spends over $20 billion every year on purchasing products and services from foreign companies. The plenary meeting was also attended by the CEO of Tel Aviv Global Eytan Schwartz and Chairman of the Russian-Israeli Business Council Sergey Ulin.

At the round table “The Green Economy as a Tool for Sustainable City Development,” experts were especially interested in the reports by Head of the Department of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Protection Anton Kulbachevsky (“2017 - Year of Ecology in Russia. Moscow Projects”) and by Head of the Tel-Aviv Department of Environmental Protection (“Environmental Protection in Israel”).

Director General of the Israeli-Russian Business Council Eduard Shteinbuk gave a speech during the round table “Integrated Development of the Tourism Sector.” He talked about how unfortunately Israel is mostly a transit point for Russian tourists, or a pilgrimage location. “Israel has all the necessary infrastructure for active rest and medical tourism,” he said. In turn, the Vice President of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry Suren Vardanyan said that the Russian capital has been ready to increase tourist volumes for a long time. “For over 7 years we have tried to get commercial offers on increasing off-season tourist volumes from the Israeli side, especially considering that many hotels have to close during this time and the owners end up losing money. If we get a reasonable offer, we are ready to increase tourist volumes and send a lot of senior citizens and children to Israel for vacation,” he said.  This proposal was interesting to the Israeli participants of the round table.

Sergey Cheremin discussed the prospects for developing bilateral partner relations with the Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat during a meeting that took place during Days of Moscow in Israel.

“Cooperation with Jerusalem, which pays special attention to the development of advanced technology and economic diversification, will allow us to learn about best international practices aimed at attracting young talented engineers and creating a high-tech economy,” the Minister said. He expressed hope that holding Days of Jerusalem in Moscow in September of this year will help strengthen relations between the two cities and countries. “In my opinion, Moscow would be interested in strengthening ties with Israeli universities, which are accomplished in natural sciences and information technology. Israel is known for having one of the best vocational education systems, which enables  companies to hire qualified specialists who can work in tech with no problem. This is why many international industrial leaders are opening branches in Israel,” Mr. Barkat said. The Minister supported Mr. Barkat’s initiative, and the two sides agreed to look into options for joint undergrad and masters program, which would allow students to choose from different education systems and get the certificates they need.

Tel-Aviv also hosted a round table dedicated to supporting Russian language and culture, as well as working with young people. The discussion included Russian compatriots in Israel, Deputy Head of the Moscow Department of External Economic Affairs and International Relations Igor Tkach, First Deputy Director of the Moscow House of Compatriots Yuri Kaplun, Professor at the Moscow State Linguistic University Yuri Sukhov, Moscow writers Yuri Polyakov and Sergey Sokolkin, Head of the Russian Cultural Center in Tel-Aviv Natalia Yakimchuk, famous Russian philologist Tatiana Yatsuk, Head of the Yariek Development Center Yelena Kats and many others. In his address to the round table participants, Minister of the Moscow Government Sergey Cheremin pointed out the importance of consolidating Russian compatriots living abroad, holding international, regional and national forums, providing support for Russian language programs, and preserving Russian culture, language, and traditions in Russian-speaking diasporas.

The round table on innovations in the healthcare sphere took place at the Ichilov Hospital in Israel. Topics of discussion included career development initiatives, exchange of experience, and training Russian physicians in Israeli hospitals. Last year alone 35 specialists from Russia were trained and certified in this hospital. The Moscow delegation visited the oncology department, a children’s outpatient clinic, and the hospital’s cardiology center.

On April 26, the Jerusalem Theatre held a gala concert of the famous dance theatre Gzhel. Local authorities greatly value Russia’s cultural contribution to the development of Israeli culture. “Stronger relations between the capitals of Russia and Israel present a unique opportunity to establish new ties and bring people closer together,” said Head of the Moscow Department of External Economic Affairs and International Relations Sergey Cheremin. On behalf of the Mayor of Moscow and the entire Moscow delegation, he wished the residents of Israel peace and prosperity.



Founder: Department for External Economic and International Relations of the Government of Moscow

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