Our office was part of a three day conference in El Paso, Texas, where in addition to experiencing amazing hospitality from everyone we met, future strategies for economic collaboration, and partnership with Israel were mapped out. During the conference, where the theme was “El Paso is Open for Business” the mayors of El Paso and Hadera, Israel signed a sister-city agreement as part of an effort by El Paso’s visionary Borderplex Alliance to bring more global attention to this region and open this region to more global investment. In recent years, El paso has transformed into one of the most forward thinking and economically improved cities in America, with international companies seeking to expand their presence to take advantage of cooperative government and a booming labor force. City and business officials, many who have visited Israel multiple times, showed great willingness and excitement over the possibilities for business alliances with Israel.
“We’re trying to build bridges to other countries, reach out to other nations, particularly through their representatives in the United States,” Rolando Pablos, chief executive officer of the Borderplex Alliance, a regional economic development organization based in El Paso, said at an El Paso City Hall event to announce the Hadera agreement.
During the signing ceremony, Hadera Mayor Tzvika Gendelman said he wants to get businesses interested in his hometown.
Hadera is Israel’s seventh-largest city, located on the Mediterranean coast, and 28 miles from Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city.
It was deemed to be a good choice as a sister city because it’s in a desert environment, has the world’s second-largest desalination plant, has a manufacturing complex, a large electric power plant, and is about 30 miles from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which has high-tech incubation programs, Pablos said after Tuesday’s signing ceremony. Pablos also said El Paso will be sending a delegation to Israel to attend the Watec Conference in October, Israel’s largest conference dealing with water issues, as well as meetings with other industry officials.
The agreement with Hadera grew out of discussions with an Israeli government official on how to increase ties between Israel and El Paso, Pablos said after the event.
Mayor Gendelman said Hadera’s climate is similar to El Paso, and “like El Paso, we also are increasing our focus” on wind and solar energy.
“Hadera is striving to be a center of energy-related businesses and high-tech companies,” he told a room full of community leaders and a handful of government and business representatives who are here for El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser’s third in a series of El Paso familiarization tours.
“We are in the process of building an industrial zone devoted to the field of energy,” Gendelman said. Hadera has an electric plant that produces about half of Israel’s electricity, he noted.
This first step is a very important beginning to what will surely prove to be a successful and long term relationship.
Extended coverage of the conference can be found here: