An enthusiastic group came out to meet and greet Sherwin Pomerantz, Michigan Israel Business Bridge’s (MIBB) new business representative in Israel. Mr. Pomerantz is President of Atid EDI, Ltd. (EDI), an economic development consulting firm based in Jerusalem with 9 employees. They have been in business for the past 21 years. EDI currently represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of states in the United States and now has the MIBB as one of its new clients. They will be working to deepen the already significant business ties between the State of Israel and the State of Michigan.
Before Mr. Pomerantz’s comments, MIBB President Hannan Lis provided an overview of the organization’s mission and good work happening with the MIBB. Hannan mentioned recently there has been increased momentum and additional business flow between Michigan and Israel following Governor Snyder’s trade mission to Israel last summer, which received much organizational assistance from the MIBB. MIBB is looking to further leverage last Summer’s trade mission and increase business between the people of these two governments.
After an introduction, Mr. Pomerantz simply stated: “Our job is to help with job creation in Michigan and add jobs in the State. We also will help to convince Israeli companies to relocate in Michigan.” Mr. Pomerantz provided some concrete examples of EDI business transactions, illustrating that it’s more than just export opportunities to Israel. EDI also works in most of the Middle East, coming across business opportunities as far west as Morocco and as far east as Pakistan.
Israel’s major export is intellectual property and their knowledge base, as they do very little manufacturing and import most manufactured goods. Therefore, there are numerous opportunities for US based businesses to export goods and even services to Israel. Similarly, Pomerantz added there are probably 100 Israeli firms interested in coming to the US, however, US business interests must be willing to meet the economic needs of those Israeli companies. He noted US businesses must be aggressive and ask that Israeli company what they need and then be able to completely deliver it to them. This will be the best way to meet the economic needs of those Israeli business interests willing to expand into the US market.
In ending, Mr. Pomerantz commented that Michigan has several positive developments which will greatly increase bi-lateral trade, including an emerging economy, several successful Israeli business people in the area, a dynamic bi-lateral chamber in the MIBB along with a great workforce and universities. While Pomerantz added some Israelis are not excited about taking a second flight to Detroit, this too can change if enough Israeli and Michigan business people begin to demand a direct flight between Tel Aviv and Detroit. As business continues to increase between Israel and Michigan, this additional inconvenience will also be overcome.
ROBERT E. MATTLER, Associate Broker, Attorney and LEED AP BD+C, is Director of Green Brokerage at Armada Real Estate Services in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He speaks, writes and reports about emerging green real estate and development issues in Michigan and elsewhere. Bob is a senior correspondent for www.greeningdetroit.com . For more information, contact Bob at Armada Real Estate (248) 855-1221; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org