Governor Jay Nixon (D) will lead a delegation of Missouri government leaders on a trade mission to Israel from March 21-28. In a press release today, Nixon said the trip will focus on strengthening partnerships, increasing exports and recruiting new high-tech foreign investment to Missouri.
“Over the past few years, Missouri has become a globally-recognized hub of high-tech jobs and entrepreneurship, and recently led the nation in new business creation,” said Nixon. “This trade mission is an opportunity to strengthen Missouri’s ties with a vital U.S. ally, encourage even more high-tech investment in our state and bolster Missouri’s reputation as a leader in technology and innovation worldwide.”
In 2014, Nixon signed legislation establishing a Missouri trade office in Israel.
In Jerusalem, the Governor and members of the delegation will meet with high-level government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former President Shimon Peres, and H.E. Ambassador Alon Ushpiz, Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nixon will also meet with leaders of the Jewish Agency for Israel about their humanitarian efforts, which are supported by the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.
The delegation will then travel to Tel Aviv, where the Governor will meet with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro as well as companies in Israel’s tech sector including Amdocs, a software company headquartered in Chesterfield.
Nixon and members of the delegation will also visit Israel’s Volcani Institute to meet with agri-technology companies and receive a briefing on BioSTL’s business recruitment program in Israel called GlobalSTL-Israel.
Gov. Nixon is planning to meet with executives at Boeing in Israel. St. Louis is the headquarters of Boeing Defense, which is Missouri’s largest manufacturer.
On Saturday, March 26, the Governor and First Lady will meet with Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and attend Easter Services on Sunday at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
Joining Nixon on the delegation to Israel will be First Lady Georganne Nixon; Mike Downing, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development; Senate Minority Floor Leader Joseph Keaveny, House Majority Flood Leader Mike Cierpiot; and House Minority Floor Leader Jacob Hummel.
The delegation will also include Roey Gilad, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest; Andrew Rehfeld, President & CEO, Jewish Federation of St. Louis; Don Hannon, Chief Financial Officer, Jewish Federation of St. Louis; Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council; Guy Bouchard, President, Sinclair Research; Andrea Smithee, Assistant to the President, Sinclair Research; and Margaret Onken, Executive Director of the Hawthorn Foundation.