In November, B.C. Minister of Finance and House Leader Michael de Jong led a provincial trade mission to Israel. The invitation to delegates was sent by the minister and Dr. Moira Stilwell, MLA for Vancouver-Langara.
“A lot of the impetus for this [mission] derived from the tech sector, the health sciences sector, the cybersecurity sector itself here in B.C., who said, look, we are seeing increasing opportunities and we’d like to explore those further, is the government prepared to work with us?” de Jong told the Independent in a phone interview. “And that led to a conversation between myself and Moira – of course, she has been, for many years, a big proponent of growing the bilateral relationship – and, out of that emerged this formal trade delegation.”
It was de Jong’s second mission to Israel. His first was about five years ago, during his tenure as the province’s minister of health.
“The role the government and a minister can play is to help facilitate partnerships and contacts between people, and this particular group had done a lot of that work themselves,” he said. “So, for example, the Rick Hansen Institute had already created the beginnings of a partnership with Hadassah [Medical Centre] and we saw that go to the next level in terms of formalization. We went out to Technion University, which is this world-leading institute – in their hallway, they feature Nobel laureates the way other institutions feature alumni – it’s quite remarkable…. [On] the cybersecurity side, some of the folks who were with us are even now actively pursuing with colleagues in Israel opportunities for exchange and for trade and, ultimately, that’s what this is all about.”
Please click here for the full article