McGuinty Concludes Successful Visit to Israel

Published: May 26th 2010
in News » Local

The delegation meets with President Peres

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty made an official visit to Israel this week, his first ever visit to the Holy Land. McGuinty was joined by Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Dr. Eric Hoskins, and MPPs Monte Kwinter, Mike Colle and David Zimmer. He also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum where he laid a wreath in memory of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, the old city in Jerusalem, and the Western Wall.


Most of the visit was devoted to meetings with heads of state, research institutes and economic companies with the aim of promoting economic relations and trade and economic cooperation between Israel and Ontario. McGuinty met with President Shimon Peres and the two conducted discussions on issues related to research, water technology, and medicine. The two leaders expressed their commitment to continue building on existing partnerships between Israel and Ontario to help strengthen the growing knowledge-based economy.


McGuinty also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a meeting which was held behind closed doors and which McGuinty described as successful and constructive. The two also discussed ways of deepening cooperation. At the end of the meeting, McGuinty expressed Ontario’s interest in promoting projects in the areas of research, water and renewable energy. Netanyahu expressed great interest in Ontario's education system and a future meeting of respective education officials is now being planned.


A very successful meeting was held between McGuinty, his delegation and scientists from the Weizmann Institute. The purpose of the meeting was to find new possibilities for partnerships and investments. Following his meeting with the president of the Weizmann Institute, McGuinty visited the molecular genetics lab at the Institute and expressed interest in appointing a Chief Scientist to advise the Ontario government on research and scientific opportunities to help create jobs. He also met with the CEO and scientists from Ramot at Tel Aviv University, where he observed how Israel's leading research university turns new discoveries into high-skilled jobs and new investments.


The highlight of the visit was an economic partnership agreement signed with Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva, the largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world. Teva will invest $56 million in expanding its production plant in Stouffville and in return will receive a grant in the sum of $6.5 million from the Ontario government. The investment in the Teva factory will allow for the employment of 182 professionals and 20 other employees. More than half of the pharmaceuticals made by the Teva factory in Stouffville are intended for export.


Related articles: (dalton mcguinty, israel visit, shimon peres, benjamin netanyahu, teva)

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