Times of Israel: UK woos Israel post Brexit
Brexit is both challenge and opportunity for Israeli businesses, UK Israel Business chamber of commerce says
As Britain proceeds with the dissolution of its marriage to its long-term partner, the European Union, it has started to court new companions, among them Israel.
Brexit — the process the UK has initiated for withdrawing from the EU, which is estimated to impact economic growth, create financial instability and cut jobs — is a challenge, but it also presents “huge” opportunities for Israel, said Hugo Bieber, chief executive of the chamber of commerce UK Israel Business (UKIB), who led the chamber’s largest business delegation to Israel last week with a similar message to Israeli firms.
More than 35 British investors took part in the group’s three-day visit to Israel, during which the representatives met with leaders of the local tech community, including from Check Point Software Technologies and Wix.com, startups and VC investors. The delegation follows the September Innovate Israel 2017 conference hosted by UKIB, in which the British government called on Israeli financial institutions and companies to invest in hundreds of energy projects in the UK, with a focus on the clean-energy sector, in an effort to attract new investor interest.
In an interview with The Times of Israel last week, Bieber made a hard sell for Britain: The lower pound has made it cheaper for Israeli firms to set up their business in Israel, as the British currency shed some 15 percent of its value in the year since the UK voted to leave the European Union. It is still easier, language-wise, to set up a business in the UK than in other European countries, and there are direct flights to London which has a wide connectivity to the rest of the world, he emphasized.