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Good News Israel presents Economy & Business updates: Israeli gas for the EU, stopping fraud and more …

Israeli gas for Europe?

Israel has proposed that EU countries invest in a multi-billion Euro pipeline to carry its natural gas to the continent. The pipeline will go via Cyprus, Greece and Italy which all support the idea.

Budget deficit halved.

Israel’s budget deficit for Oct. 2014 was NIS 2.1 billion compared with NIS 4.5 billion in Oct. 2013. Government spending was up 3.1% during Jan. to Oct. 2014 compared to the same period last year. Tax revenues were up 7.2% over the same period.

UK trade with Israel increases.

UK Ambassador Matthew Gould reported that in addition to a 26% increase in bilateral trade, eight Israeli companies have gone public on the London Stock Exchange this year. Israel’s Teva now produces one in six pills sold in the United Kingdom.

Czech market opens up for Israeli water technologies.

The 3-day Czech-Israeli Water Management Seminar in Prague connected government officials and the business sector to Israeli expertise in water safety and protection, waste water reclamation and aquaculture technologies – all relevant to the Czech market.

“The best opportunity for Mississippi.”

Governor Phil Bryan declared his recent Mississippi State business development mission to Israel as the best such trade trip he’s had as governor. He is now planning an “Israel/Mississippi Business Summit” in April to bring Israeli companies to the Magnolia State.

Singapore discovers Israeli hi-tech.

Temasek, a $200 billion investment company owned by the Singaporean government, is placing $5 million in the Ramot Momentum fund operated by Tel Aviv University’s Ramot technology transfer company. It is the first official investment by Singapore in Israel, although telecom giant SingTel recently opened an R&D center following its purchase of Israel’s Amobee.

El Al direct flights to Boston.

El Al Airlines is commencing a direct route from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion to Boston’s Logan airport in June 2015.  El Al will run three flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Microsoft buys Israeli company for $200 million.

Global computer giant Microsoft is acquiring Herzliya-based cyber security start-up Aorato for around $200 million. Aorato’s founders served in the IDF cyber security unit and have developed a firewall that learns and predicts behavior to counter web attacks.

Automated fraud system gets cash boost.

Israeli start-up Forter has raised $15 million to launch its new R&D center to support its automated three-layered fraud detection mechanism. For the US venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates it was its first investment in Israel.

Supermarket to sell everything at 5 Shekels.

Israel’s Cofix coffee shops sell coffee, sandwiches, juices,and other goods all for NIS 5 ($1.30) an item.  Cofix now plans to open 20 branches of “Super Cofix” in April 2015, selling 600 basic food products (plus non-food items) for a uniform price of NIS 5 each.  It apparently includes meat!

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Israel Good News by Michael Ordman and the UWI Staff