President Reuven Rivlin, met with Governor Linda Dessau of Victoria who hosted a business and economic summit at Government House in Melbourne, her official residence. The summit was attended by members of the Israeli business delegation accompanying the president’s visit, headed by Chairman of the Israeli Export Institute Adiv Baruch. The president, the governor and Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews spoke at the event.
“I am so happy to be here today,” said the president at the beginning of his remarks, “and to meet the people that make the strong relations between Israel and Australia. Relations between countries must always lean on strong bonds between people, and commerce and finance are key areas that connect countries and peoples. The strong friendship between Israel and Australia is built on shared values and a long history. But it is also based on a striking similarity between our spirits.”
The president mentioned a number of areas of cooperation between the two countries, including direct flights between Israel and Melbourne that are scheduled to start next month, the entry of 12 Israeli companies to the Australian market in the last year alone and more. The president expressed his hope that Australian companies will also discover Israel’s vibrant start-up ecosystem and join the hundreds of the world’s top companies that already have set up research and development centers in Israel.
The president added, “We have so much to share with each other. We have so many fields to cooperate in, such as health, cyber, energy, aerospace, homeland security industries, and more. You, my friends, are the agents of change. I hope that this gathering today will allow you to do get to know some new business partners and that from this occasion many new initiatives will begin. That is the way to deepen and broaden the strong, unbreakable ties between our countries, between our nations. That is the way to build a win-win commercial system in which everybody benefits.”
In the evening, the president spoke at an event in Melbourne marking the centenary of Keren Hayesod activity. Governor Linda Dessau of Victoria, Chairman of the World Board of Trustees of KH-UIA Steven Lowy AM and World Chairman of KH-UIA Sam Grundwerg also participated in the event. The president thanked the representatives of Keren Hayesod for their many years of work on behalf of the State of Israel and its citizens, saying “For one hundred years, Keren Hayesod has been a key partner in building our Jewish and democratic state.”
Later in the evening, the president will depart Melbourne for Sydney where he will continue his visit to Australia.