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STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL CO-SPONSORS 'BUSINESS VENTURES IN ISRAEL' SEMINAR; MICROSOFT, DSP, TELRAD PROMOTE ISRAELI JOINT VENTURE

STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL CO-SPONSORS 'BUSINESS VENTURES IN ISRAEL' SEMINAR; MICROSOFT, DSP, TELRAD PROMOTE ISRAELI JOINT VENTURE
 BELLEVUE, Wash., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Washington State Economic Development Council, co-sponsor of the "Business Ventures in Israel" seminar:
 Israel's "brainpower is about to explode" onto the global economy and "nothing can stop it," said Shlomo Kidron, Israel's economic consul to the Pacific Northwest, in a speech today before business leaders at the Bellevue Hyatt.
 This talent is compounding due to the academic abilities -- mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry -- of the nearly 200,000 immigrants Israel has received in the past two years. With six to 12 months of language training and education, Kidron said the immigrants, "on average, are almost equal to their Israeli colleagues."
 Microsoft has taken advantage of Israeli "ingenuity, creativity and competence" with the establishment of its first-ever overseas R&D center in Haifa.
 Moshe Dunia, director of Microsoft's International Research and Development, explained at the "Business Ventures in Israel" seminar that Microsoft engineers who had worked at the R&D center in Redmond for several years, and had recently returned to Israel, opened the facility in October 1991. Since Microsoft depends on e-mail for internal communication, sending messages overseas was not a problem. "We take advantage of the 10-hour time difference," said Dunia. "Messages sent at the end of our day are answered by the time we arrive at work, giving us round-the-clock capabilities."
 Other reasons for joint ventures were presented by Eli Porat, the chief operating officer of DSP Group, a high-tech electronics company, who said American companies will find a stable work force, access to Europe, and a lot of innovative ideas in Israel, but "be prepared for many opinions" as Israelis "love negotiation."
 Walter O'Connell, a consultant for Telrad, Israel's largest developer and manufacturer of telephone switching equipment, encouraged investment because Israeli companies "spend an average of 8 percent of revenues on research and development," the reason for Telrad's "impressive manufacturing, from metal works to robotics."
 Three hundred and thirty one companies are involved in joint ventures. According to a survey of foreign investment in Israel presented by Joe Franzi, a partner at KMPG Peat Marwick, the United States leads with 61 percent, followed by the United Kingdom with 13 percent and Germany with 10 percent.
 Nearly 40 percent of these American companies are in the high-tech industry and, of those, 44 percent had growth rates of over 30 percent in the past three years.
 Companies wishing to enter into joint ventures but lacked the funding were advised to consider BIRD, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation. Established in 1977, BIRD supports industrial research and development to the mutual benefit of Israel and the United States. Joint government funding totaled $12.2 million in 1991 and royalties from the sales of BIRD- funded projects were $2.3 million. Since its establishment, its projects have produced $1.2 billion in sales.
 John Fluke Manufacturing Inc., Tektronix and more than 300 U.S. companies have received BIRD funding, according to its executive director, Dr. Edward Mlavsky. "We are looking for successful companies that want an edge against the technology race. The U.S. company defines and supports the product, while Israel develops and distributes it, particularly to the EEC where it has a duty-free agreement." Mlavsky, a chemist, said BIRD is a "catalyst" that allows American companies to "consolidate their position by coming together with Israeli talent to give them a turbocharge kick."
 Companies interested in government incentives were encouraged by Meir Buber, New York-based Trade Commissioner to the United States, to utilize the Ministry of Industry and Trade's new Center for Business Promotion. Under the administration of Gad Soen, the center is a "one-stop shop" and "cuts the red tape" in obtaining grants and government-guaranteed loans.
 -0- 5/14/92
 /CONTACT: Lopa Hajari of Hill and Knowlton, 206-682-6944, for the Washington State Economic Development Council/ CO: Washington State Economic Development Council; Israeli-U.S.
 Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation ST: Washington IN: SU:


SC-LM -- SE008 -- 0538 05/14/92 20:37 EDT
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Date:May 14, 1992
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