International Trade Adviser, Michelle Cooper, discusses what’s in store for tech companies joining an upcoming UK Trade mission to Israel.
Discussions for a new UK Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to build upon the existing £5 billion trading relationship is rapidly spreading anticipation across regional businesses for growth into the world leading high tech sector.
Tapping into the new business collaboration opportunities for Northern Powerhouse tech companies in particular, the Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Israel Business (UKIB) are inviting local and ready-to-export companies to take their tech to Israel through a trade mission set to launch in 2023.
“Israel is renowned as a start-up nation, with its number of tech unicorns almost tied to those of the UK,” explained DIT International Trade Advisor, Michelle Cooper. “Combined with the new FTA’s great potential and enthusiasm from the UKIB team, we believe that now is the time to organise a tech trade mission to Israel; gathering the interest of Northern Powerhouse companies and seeing what we can do to springboard their growth in this region.”
Michelle also explained how the UK and Israel’s commonality as global tech pioneers has already backed strong enthusiasm for the mission across both countries: “Israel’s reputation as a tech innovative region can be particularly enticing for companies within the Northern Powerhouse, who move in the same circles as Israeli tech firms with the shared values, ideas, and ambitions. “There’s naturally a heavy focus on inward trade investment possibilities between the two regions, but the mission also has a broader scope in helping facilitate collaborative projects and highlighting Israel’s status as a gateway to grow your exports into other territories as well.”
Helping to form the basis of the mission schedule, the team’s recent hybrid event hosted in Leeds has already gathered prospective participants to learn more about the Israeli business landscape with the help of existing UK-Israel tech hubs and experienced business owners in the market.
“The event has attracted the interest of companies across the whole tech spectrum including those in health tech, fintech, and smart cities,” said Michelle. “Tech can sometimes seem like a strange sector where it’s hard to define where it begins and ends. Seeing that the event has managed to engage such an eclectic range is really insightful when understanding who exactly is expressing interest and what they hope to gain from the mission.”
While still in its early stages, the trade mission’s full programme and launch date are still to come. But for Michelle and the team, the project’s agenda has always been clear: “One of the things we feel is important is to create a mission that is valuable and tailored closely to the companies that will take part.
“A large part of the process behind organising this mission is to understand the business owners who want to be involved and what exactly they want to get out of it.”
Over in Tel Aviv, a range of tech focused events taking place across early 2023 may also influence the trade mission schedule, including the popular Cybertech exhibition, Fintech Week, and the Biomed Israel conference: “If these events make sense for the cohort and aligns with their needs, then we might tailor the mission to coincide with this.
“This way the mission content can contain all the regular business standards, such as engineered networking and engaging with potential buyers during pitching sessions, but with the extra freedom to attend a local event which is relevant for the companies involved.”
As plans to get the project off the ground steam ahead, there’s still room for anyone interested to join the mission and engage with the DIT and UKIB to discover what possibilities there are for business growth.
“You can’t know what you don’t know already, and sometimes it is worth exploring the idea of actively working in overseas regions and discovering the wealth of business opportunity out there,” said Michelle. “By working closely with local embassies and Israeli tech hubs, the trade mission can be a valuable asset in whetting the appetite of stakeholders and getting ahead of the key players in your relevant sector.”
To find out more about growing international exports with support from the DIT, visit Great.gov.uk