Gov. Doyle: Leads trade mission to Israel

Contacts: Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661

Will Focus on Growing Wisconsin’s Water Technology Industries

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle is leading a delegation of Wisconsin business and government leaders on a trade mission to Israel this week, November 16-20, 2009. The trade mission will provide participants with opportunities to meet with distributors, potential customers, and key business and government officials.

“Israel offers great business opportunities for Wisconsin companies and this trade mission provides a chance to forge important new relationships,” Governor Doyle said. “In Wisconsin, we are working hard to blaze the future in freshwater business and research. I look forward to working with Wisconsin businesses and new partners to lead the world in water technology and grow this important part of our economy.”

The mission will focus on industries that offer great promise for increasing exports to Israel, especially in the area of water technology. Wisconsin is home to five of the 11 largest water technology companies in the world and the state is making major investments to grow innovative research facilities in Milwaukee and throughout the state. According to Milwaukee 7, in the Milwaukee region alone the water industry is a $10.5 billion market that supports 20,000 jobs. In April, the United Nations designated Milwaukee as the only UN Global Compact City for Water in the United States.

Governor Doyle will meet with leading water companies and investors and discuss the future of the fresh water industry in Wisconsin. On Tuesday, Governor Doyle will address the 5th Annual International Water Technologies, Renewable Energy and Environmental Control Exhibition, or WATEC. The major international conference, which is held November 17-19, in Tel Aviv, provides networking and sales opportunities for Wisconsin firms.

In 2008, Israel was Wisconsin’s 40th largest export customer with purchases worth $68.2 million. During the trade mission, the Governor will also promote investment by Israeli companies in Wisconsin.

Other highlights of the Governor’s trade mission include:

* Remarks at the “Invest in Wisconsin Seminar” in Tel Aviv, which will showcase Wisconsin to 40 Israeli companies;

* Meetings with top executives from water companies located in Israel, including Veolia Water, Mekorot, Emefcy, Kinrot Ventures, and Miya;

* Meetings with the Israeli Prime Minister, the Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection, the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade & Labor and the Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures; and

* Meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham.