Israelis plan to strengthen business ties to Western Pa.
Pittsburgh's business connections to Israel may not be readily apparent, but Israeli officials and leaders of the city's Jewish community say they are many.
They hope the ties will multiply.
Elad Strohmayer, Israeli deputy general counsel for the Mid-Atlantic region, told the Tribune Review on Wednesday that opportunities for partnerships may arise this year with the pending approval of a $10 million Israeli-Pennsylvania research and development fund meant to underwrite projects approaching commercialization.
“I think Pittsburgh has a lot of potential for strong economic relations with Israel,” Strohmayer said.
He compared Western Pennsylvania's innovation-oriented economy to Israel's national spirit.
“(Israel) is a start-up nation. Our strength is in human resources, human capital,” he said.
Trade between the United States and Israel trade took off nearly 30 years ago with the ratification of the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, the first such agreement reached by the United States.
Greg Roman, community relations council director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, noted that Pennsylvania has a trade representative in Israel whose job is to find business opportunities for Pennsylvania companies to expand their market in Israel, and for Israeli companies to come here.
Roman said Israel often looks to areas such as Pittsburgh for manufacturing facilities.
“We are 8 million people, and we need to grow and expand. What better place than here in the U.S.,” Strohmayer said.
Strohmayer said those international connections are evident in the Philadelphia region, where Israeli pharmaceutical giant TEVA has its headquarters and employs about 1,700 people.
Closer to home, Ness Techologies in Canonsburg, has roots in Israel; dbMotion, a project of UPMC and Israeli researchers to develop medical software, was acquired by a Chicago company last year for $235 million.
According to the state Department of Community and Economic Development, exports to Israel from Pennsylvania companies totaled $275.5 million in 2013, an increase of 22.6 percent from 2012.
“We've seen a lot of interest in Pennsylvania companies trading with Israel, and we have quite a lot of investment from Israel here,” said Wilfred Muskens, deputy secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
David Patti, CEO of the Pennsylvania Business Council, said it's not surprising that Israeli officials would consider the Pittsburgh region a prime place for investment and trade partnerships.
“Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh in particular, is very well-liked by other nations. They like the work ethic, they like the quality, and they like the price,” Patti said.
Debra Erdley is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- GNC will expand its testing of supplements in settlement with NY
- Pittsburgh region’s unemployment rate stays steady
- Nonprofit Concordia Lutheran Ministries adjusts to marketplace realities
- Pa. Gas & Electric agrees to $6.8 million settlement of polar vortex claims
- UnitedHealth bulks up for prescription drug cost fight
- Increased credit card use reflects confidence, flat wages
- Stop foreign dumping, U.S. Steel CEO Longhi tells Congress
- Federal government eyes regulation of payday lending
- Drillers’ new techniques, experience cut well costs, boost yields
- Heinz merging with Kraft in mega-deal; headquarters to stay in Pittsburgh
- Stocks gain on encouraging signs in spending and home sales