Host of German Business Leaders Heading to Israel to Mark 50 Years of Ties

Companies like BMW, Bosch, Duetsche Bank, Lufthansa and SAP to meet with Israeli counterparts and ministers.

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A host of German company leaders are heading to Israel on a solidarity trip to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Israel Hayom reported on Thursday.

The delegation of 100 company heads due at the end of June includes BMW, Bosch, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Lufthansa, Mercedes-Benz, Merck and SAP, according to the report.

"Germany is becoming more and more open to innovation and more interested in what's going on in Israel," Israel's commercial attaché in Berlin, Hemdat Sagi, told Israel Hayom. "This is true both on a governmental level and a business level."

The German and Israeli economy ministers will join the business leaders during two days of events in Tel Aviv, which include an investors' conference and an innovation day to learn about cutting-edge Israeli research.

"The [German] industry leaders' visit is an important sign of good faith," Economy and Trade Minister Aryeh Deri said.

He noted that Germany is Israel's main trading partner in Europe. "The innovation day organized by foreign trade officers at the Economy and Trade Ministry is expected to create new partnerships and cooperation and to strengthen the important ties between the countries," added Deri.

"Large companies like Deutsche Telekom, Merck and SAP SE, are already conducting R&D activities in Israel," said Sagi. "The job of the commercial office in Berlin is to bring new partners to cooperate with Israeli companies and to enjoy the interesting synergies being formed with the Israeli market."