"There is no limit to what Israel and the Emirates can do together"
Ambassador Eitan Na'eh, Head of the Israel Mission to the UAE, is a big believer in the potential of the cooperation between the countries
"From growing fruits and vegetables, to jointly using healthtech to combat Covid-19 and cooperation in space – there is no limit to what Israel and the Emirates can do together", said Ambassador Eitan Na'eh, Head of the Israel Mission to the UAE, at the GoforUAE-Israel Food Security Investment Conference.
Organized by Cukierman & Co., Catalyst Funds and GoforIsrael, the conference gathered around 1,000 participants - including Israeli innovative food and water security startups and hundreds of investors from the UAE - to explore strategic partnerships and capital market opportunities in food security.
"The three small countries that signed the Abraham Accords are also the top three countries in vaccinations per capita", said Edouard Cukierman, Chairman of Cukierman Investment House and Managing Partner at Catalyst Funds. "I have had the pleasure of visiting the UAE several times in the last few months. One topic that kept repeating itself in our conversations was the issue of food security, which became a prominent concern during the pandemic. The Israeli Agtech sector is well developed, supported by government agencies, dedicated R&D centers and academic institutions, and over 500 active startups in this field. 96% of fruit and vegetable consumption is from local produce, and more than 80% of the water is recycled. I am convinced that together we can build a strong partnership and that the region will experience significant investment and trade activity in the near future."
Ambassador Na'eh, the former ambassador to Turkey who became the first Israeli to have full diplomatic status in the Gulf state, added: "The leaders of our countries have set the vision – it is now up to all of us – in the government and in the private sector – to make it a successful reality. A reality based on people to people, business to business, state to state relations, all in order to add content into our new relationship."
Other participants in the event included: Haggai Ravid, CEO at Cukierman & Co. Investment House; Yair Geva, Partner, Hitech, M&As at Herzog Fox & Neeman; Oshrat Maya, Netafim CFO for Middle East & Africa; Salvatore Lavallo, Head of Foreign Direct Investment – Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO); Raju Menon, Chairman & Managing Partner – Kreston Menon, UAE; and Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
"Agriculture is one of the key sectors we have been focusing on at ADIO," said Lavaello. "Our two main goals in agriculture are food security technologies for local production, and new ways of producing food. We are interested in any technology that can address these goals. We are really a market capitalizer and are able to push these technologies forward within our country and to other parts of the world."