Posted by: israelembassysa | October 25, 2010

AngloRaanana Update

Jerusalem of Gold

 

 

Anglo Raanana Update of the Week

Quote for the Week
“You go to the Middle East if you´re looking for oil and you wouldn´t even stop in Israel, but if you´re looking for brains, energy and integrity, Israel is the place to be.”
Warren Buffet – (Financial Wizard and Entrepreneur Extraordinaire)
 

Beat this if you can! We’ve mentioned that Israel is a hi-tech super power and that includes such weird and wonderful things as nano-tech, bio-tech, clean-tech etc. and when the achievements in these areas, in this tiny country, with a total population smaller than that of Greater London are as amazing as they are [see quote for the week above] then you tend to get a little blas?. But even we were mightily impressed by the following: There’s an organization called GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and it’s all about cellular phone technology. Well, said organization presents awards to the industry that are held in very high regard – the awards that is – and for this purpose they divide the world into four; the Americas, [North and South]; Asia Pacific [India, Singapore, Korea etc.]; EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] and…Israel – in a class of its own, bursting with innovation in this vital field!   
 
The TASE isn’t doing that badly either. On Monday the benchmark TA-25 Index rose 0.4% to reach a new record high of 1,259 points at the close. So you’d expect some of what investors call profit taking, which is what happened and the Index dropped on Tuesday and Wednesday as people converted shares to cash, only to surge back on Thursday, finishing the day and the week on yet another record high of 1272.25 with a turnover of NIS2bn for the day. The other indexes followed suit and the mavens are saying that the bears are hibernating and the bulls are behaving as if they’re at Pamplona.   
 
Delegations from 26 of the 33 OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development] member states began arriving on Tuesday evening of this week for an OECD Tourism Conference in Jerusalem with a special focus on sustainable, environmentally-friendly tourism. Founded in 1961 and based in Paris, the Tourism Conference is held once every two years and this is only the second time that these countries will be meeting away from home base. Perhaps it’s fitting that the Organization has given this honor to its newest member, – we’ve only been an OECD State for a few months – Israel, But there’s also no getting away from the fact that it’s a significant vote of confidence in us, our economy and our tourist industry, which…   
 
Has registered a 27% rise over last year, a pretty good year to start with, and we seem to be racing towards three million guests by December, a number that does have a certain magic about it.    
 
British Airways chooses 10 destinations out of the hundreds it has on offer every year and designates them as ‘Top Cities” and Tel Aviv is right up there with the best of them. The Big Orange’s selection comes in the wake of being chosen by National Geographic as having one of the top ten beaches in the world so no wonder that all of this is happening against the backdrop of a tourist boom that Israel is enjoying right now [see the figures in the item above]. 
 
Jerusalem has always been a top tourist attraction for its sites, holy to all three religions and as recently as a month ago Travel and Leisure Magazine rated it as one of the top destinations in the Middle East but now website, TripAdvisor that boasts more than 40 million travel reviews culled from tourists all over the globe, ranks it as one of the ten top go-to places in the world not for religious pilgrimage this time but… wait for it, culture and sightseeing and that places it together with London, Rome, Paris and well, you can guess the rest.   
 
Last week [in GN 15 10] we said about the Chilean miners that, quote : “They’re not Israeli and if they’ve heard of Israel they’ve never been here [it would be a nice gesture if one of our hotel chains would offer them a spell of R&R in the Holy Land]” Unquote. Our superstar Minister of Tourism, Mr Stas Misezhnikov must have read GN because this week he said: “It would be a great honor for us to welcome you as our guests in the Holy Land. This December, Christians around the world will celebrate Xmas. During that time, we welcome tens of thousands of pilgrims and we would be pleased to offer you this uplifting and extraordinary experience at no cost.” Just by the way 58% of our visitors last year were of the Christian faith.   
 
“Business activity continued to expand in the third quarter of 2010, at a pace similar to that since the beginning of the year,” says the staid and conservative Bank of Israel in its Companies Survey for the Third Quarter of 2010. It adds, “Expectations are that activity will continue to increase in the fourth quarter” and perhaps most significant of all, the business community is displaying optimism and confidence re the future. And just to prove our point “Israel offers incredible investment opportunities, and I say this as a major investor in the Israeli economy through The Arison Group.” Said no less a person than Shari Arison, still one of our favorite business people, in a speech at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the fourth annual Israel Day [Yes, that august institution has an annual day honoring the State of Israel]. 
Business, hi-tech, scientific discoveries, they’re exciting stuff but how did it all start? Well if we can take you back to pre-state days it was the Jewish farmer, inevitably a kibbutznik, who was the man or the woman of the hour simply to be overshadowed in time by business… etc. But two things have happened in the past couple of weeks; one is that agricultural crops are back in the news with amazing developments in the quality and types of produce and predictions are that revenues in 2010 will reach NIS26bn way up on 2009 and the other is that the kibbutz, that so many had written off as going the way of the dinosaur has roared back on the 100th anniversary of its birth, somewhat altered in ideology but still producing bananas, avocados and a lot else. So GN salutes them both, the collective farm and the farmer, vibrant, productive and providing that touch of romantic nostalgia that makes life interesting. 
 
Israel’s national under-19 team got its qualification campaign for Euro 2011 off to a flying start this week by beating Armenia 3-0. Two goals in the first five minutes, one after just two minutes and the second, three minutes later, gave Israel a lead that never looked like being threatened. Drawn in the same group as Spain, Lithuania and Armenia, the team has a way to go yet and it will be GN if the first match is the shape of things to come.


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