California's Governator In Israel To Sign Clean Tech Co-op Deal

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Five years ago this past May, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced five Israeli companies as part of his plan to create more than 800 new jobs in California. He urged dozens of other Israeli corporate executives to invest and expand their businesses in the state.

“I promised I would travel the world to sell California and find employers to provide new jobs for Californians,” Schwarzenegger told a group of more than 200 Israeli and American business leaders, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs at the Tel Aviv Hilton.

He’s baaaaack. Globes reports that the former Terminator movie actor lovingly known as The Governator is due to sign a renewable energy cooperation deal with Israel’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.

Flying in on his private jet, Schwarzenegger is signing the cooperation agreement to promote Israel-California strategic R&D in renewable energy and environmental technologies by establishing joint ventures between Israeli renewable energy companies and municipal authorities in California.

The agreement will also boost mutual investment, and foster research collaboration, Globes reports. Specifics and terms of the agreement were not revealed.

The Governator is in Israel as part of the prestigious Saban Forum happening on Saturday in Jerusalem along with former US president Bill Clinton. They will join senior Israeli officials to talk about US-Israeli relations and Middle East policy, as well as environment technologies. Palestinian concerns will be part of the forum; the entourage will travel to Ramallah on Sunday to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Israeli participants in the forum include some of the country’s most prominent leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin and Governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer.

The Saban Forum is the initiative of Israeli-American communications tycoon Haim Saban, who founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute in Washington.

The State of California has shown its leadership in America for its policy and desire to get off oil – for environmental and security reasons.

At the meeting Ben-Eliezer said, “This important agreement can boost research by these two sun-drenched states, and facilitate cooperation between researchers and industrialists on both sides. Both states are well-known worldwide as having strong renewable energy capabilities, which is why this agreement is important and desirable. This is a specialized agreement in renewable energy with an important economy, such as California, which is an important center of technology in the world.”

US-Israeli trade in 2009 totalled $17 billion from January-September 2009, including $12 billion in Israeli exports to the US, and $5 billion in imports, reports Globes.

Read more on clean tech co-op between Israel and California:
Top California Investors Visit Israel’s Clean Tech Sector
California’s PG&E Signs Historic Deal With Israel’s BrightSource
Jewish Clean Tech Conference in San Francisco
NewDealDesign Develops Charge Stations for Better Place

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