Havant MP Alan Mak says Israel and the Middle East are key markets for local businesses following a visit to the region.
Mr Mak visited Israel to meet Jewish and Palestinian business leaders and to lobby for a trade deal as Britain leaves the EU. He also called on local businesses across Havant to strengthen their links with the wider Middle East region.
During his trade visit, he met British Ambassador David Quarry and Embassy officials to discuss prospects for British exporters in the region, and met two Israeli companies looking to expand their operations into the UK who are interested in Havant as a possible base. He also visited local businesses including carbonated water company Sodastream where Arabs and Jews work side-by-side, and where managers have fostered a culture of mutual respect that Mr Mak said can drive the peace process forward.
As a supporter of the Royal British Legion, Mr Mak also found time during the trade mission to lay a wreath at the British War Memorial and Cemetery in Jerusalem to honour the Fallen from World War I as commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the end of the conflict continue.
Alan Mak MP said, “Backing local businesses and strengthening our economy remains my top priority as local MP. That means selling more goods made in Havant abroad to secure jobs here at home. Israel and the wider Middle East are key markets, and Brexit means we must redouble our efforts to promote our exports. I’m in discussions with two Middle East-based businesses interested in our area, and I’ll continue working hard to showcase all that Havant has to offer”
He added, “As we commemorate 100 years since the end of World War 1, its right that we honour the Fallen and our veterans. Whenever I travel abroad to promote Havant, I always lay a wreath to honour our Armed Forces and the Fallen where possible, and I was proud to do so in Jerusalem.”
British Ambassador David Quarrey said, “Israel and the wider region represents a substantial export opportunity for British businesses including from Havant. I’m delighted Alan Mak MP visited our region to promote his constituency’s businesses, and meet local business leaders which has generated leads he can work on when he returns home.”
Mr Mak added: “Havant’s successful economy means we make and export everything from kitchen mixers to boat anchors around the world. This was a very successful trade promotion visit, and I was very proud as local MP to be championing our exporters to growing markets in the Middle East.”
There are over 300 Israeli companies operating in the UK, employing thousands of people in sectors including tech, pharmaceuticals and finance. The UK continues to be a leading destination for Israeli investment in Europe, and the London Stock Exchange is home to 28 Israeli companies with a combined market capitalisation of over $8bn.
Israel is also recognised around the world as a “start-up nation” when it comes to tech companies – with more start-ups per capita than anywhere outside Silicon Valley, an established entrepreneurial culture, and hundreds of multinationals looking to invest in Israeli innovation.
The growing importance of the UK-Israel relationship was highlighted by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, on his historic diplomatic visit earlier this year, which coincided with the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel.
Alan Mak MP also serve as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and has previously undertaken trade promotion visits to Hong Kong, mainland China, and the United States since being elected in May 2015.
Alan’s campaign to expand local exports continues with the Department for International Trade’s Export Roadshow returning to Langstone Technology Park on 19 October 2018 at Alan’s request.
Picture 1: Alan Mak MP at the SodaStream factory where Jews and Arabs work side-by-side
Picture 2: Alan Mak MP lays a wreath at the British War Memorial and Cemetery in Jerusalem to honour the Fallen from World War I
Picture 3: Alan Mak MP with British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey