Manitoba, Israel Strengthen Relationships

Israel and Manitoba today concluded agreements on commercial business development, agriculture, water and ecotourism, highlighted by a signing ceremony at the Knesset led by Premier Greg Selinger and Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Silvan Shalom.

"These agreements help build on the already strong relationship between Manitoba and Israel," said Selinger. "Our shared knowledge and talent can help improve the lives of Manitobans and Israelis by addressing some of our common challenges."

Agreements were signed in three key areas:

* Commercial business development: Hebrew University and the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba signed an agreement on getting innovative ideas to market.

* Agriculture research: An agreement will help scientists share expertise on cutting-edge agricultural research conducted in Israel and Manitoba including work being done at Hebrew University and the University of Manitoba.

* Water technology: Manitoba and Israel will work together on the sharing and development of technology designed to improve water quality and stewardship.

The agreements of agriculture research and water technology were concluded at the Knesset and the agreement on commercial business development was finalized in a partnership signed by the University of Manitoba and Hebrew University.

The premier also signed an agreement today with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel on ecotourism focused on birding and guiding, which will help with the work done by noted bird migration specialist Dr. Yossi Leshem.

"The agreements signed today will enable the further sharing of knowledge on issues surrounding both water quality and agricultural research," said Dr. David T. Barnard, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manitoba.

Prior to leaving the province for the mission, the premier appointed businessman and community leader Mel Lazareck special representative for Manitoba to Israel for economic and community relations.

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