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Governor Perdue Departs Friday for Technology and Trade Mission to Israel

Monday, October 31, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue and a delegation of 36 Georgians will depart Friday on a technology and trade mission to Israel .  The mission, which includes officials from the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and business leaders from targeted Georgia industries, will take the Governor to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem , Haifa , Yokneam-Megiddo, Ra'anana and Nazareth .

Governor Perdue, State Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams, State Representative Joe Wilkinson and GDEcD officials will meet with Israeli governmental leaders and potential business investors in the technology and bioscience industries.  Governor Perdue will also participate in the Prime Minister's Economic Conference on Thursday, November 10, serving as the highest ranking U.S. official in attendance.

“ Israel is a world leader in business and technology, and already one of Georgia 's major trading partners,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “We expect this mission will generate new economic activity in Georgia and enhance our state's position as one of Israel 's primary business centers in North America .”  Georgia is a regional or United States headquarters to more than 40 Israeli companies.

The business aspects of the Governor's itinerary are being coordinated by GDEcD and the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Region.

“We're pleased to partner with the Georgia Department of Economic Development in organizing this important business mission,” said Andre Schnabl, chairman for the Southeast Region of the American-Israel Chamber.  “Under the leadership of Governor Perdue, we anticipate strengthening the business ties between Israeli and Georgia businesses on this historic trip.”

Meetings with Israel's top venture capital firms, broadband and technology companies and many other business leaders are scheduled during the trip in an effort to build relationships in industries that Israel and Georgia have in common - life sciences, agriculture research, nanotechnology, software, telecommunications and aerospace.  Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines announced a new direct flight from Atlanta to Tel Aviv that will begin next spring.  Atlanta will become the only Southeastern city with a direct connection to Israel .

“The new Delta flight gives us another advantage as we work to recruit new business prospects in Israel ,” said Governor Perdue.  “This makes Georgia a virtual neighbor to potential Israeli investors and tourists.”

Governor Perdue will be in Israel with more than 400 members of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta who will be visiting Israel on their Centennial Mission.  Governor Perdue will dine with Federation members on Wednesday, November 9 and will attend the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on Thursday, November 10.

Governor Perdue authorized the purchase of $5 million of Israeli bonds in January 2005.  The authorization reflected the competitive interest rate offered for the bonds, the number of Georgia companies doing business with Israel , and the Governor's confidence in the stability of Israel 's government.

In April 2005, Governor Perdue was given the Declaration of Independence Award for Georgia 's support of Israel 's effort to build and sustain a strong economy and to achieve a secure and lasting peace.