ISRAEL BONDS BUSINESS DIVISION (Full transcript of Speech)
I usually begin speeches by greeting diplomats, presidents, VIPs, each with his or her own very worthy title- and though I’m sure there are many in the audience this evening, I feel it is more appropriate to address you simply by saying ‘dear friends’ because regardless of the fact that I don’t know you personally, you could indeed be my friends.We are roughly of the same age and background. We are entering or exploring the same stages in our lives, with the same celebrations, milestones and dilemmas… We each feel connected, responsible and proud of Israel. So, please, let’s just consider this a conversation between friends.On that note, it is my pleasure to bring greetings, on behalf of the State of Israel, as a friend, a diplomatic representative and as an investor.As many of you know, State of Israel Bonds was originally conceived for the sole purpose of selling bonds and notes for the Israeli Ministry of Finance to the Diaspora community.Through the years, State of Israel Bonds has grown from idea into institution. It has become vital in raising capital for Israel’s ongoing economic strength and in helping build the necessary infrastructures to support Israel’s high-tech industry. Though Israel’s land lacks many of the natural resources to compete with much larger economies, it is rich with brain power. Israel has the highest number of university degrees per capita worldwide. It also has the most scientists and technicians in the world per capita. Israel Bonds helps cultivate this great resource by funding research and development, as well. Consequently, it has helped make Israel an attractive destination for many of the world’s largest high-tech companies. Microsoft and Intel have set up R & D facilities in Israel and countless innovations have emerged from those centers. But know, that Israeli innovations are not limited to computers, security and communications- they extend to the fields of medical device patents, cleantech and biotech… and with your help, I dare say, this is just the beginning.In 2010, the Central Bureau of Statistics recognized Israel as one of the world’s fastest growing economies. In that same year, Start-up Nation, the best-selling book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer was published and it became widely accepted that Israel produces one of the world’s greatest number of start-ups.As a result, investors throughout the globe, both Jewish and non, have flocked to support Israel and reap the benefits, financially and otherwise.With Israel Bonds, you can do the same. If you rely on your cell phone, its voice mail and instant messaging capacities - you rely on Israel and its communications technology.If you use Microsoft Windows operating systems, if you save your work with USB flash drive, disk-on-key technology, if you travel for business and connect to the internet using wireless networks in hotel rooms and internet cafes, you rely on Israel, the “second silicon valley.”If you enjoy cherry tomatoes in your salads, if you eat pomelit fruit to lower your cholesterol because you care about your health; if your dream car is an electric one because you care about the environment - you rely on Israel and its countless environmentally conscious innovations.If you have identified with any of these questions and statements- you rely on Israel and I am confident that Israel has never let you down.Now, Israel is relying on you. The opportunity is before you to contribute to the welfare, the growth and the advancement of the Jewish State. Israel is a flourishing economy, through Israel Bonds you can help it reach above and beyond its potential. The land, the country and the people will benefit from it- and so will you.Based on my personal experience, State of Israel Bonds are secure and solid investments. If you are interested in investing or exploring the opportunities, I know the team in Montreal will be willing and ready to address your questions and concerns.In fact, I can’t end this without extending my most sincere thanks and best wishes to the entire leadership of the State of Israel Bonds, whose hard work is invaluable both to Israel and to the Jewish community. May we continue watching Israel thrive and may we each have the occasion to participate and contribute to its prosperity.