Governor Rick Snyder is leading a delegation of state officials and business leaders on a nine-day investment mission to Israel in hopes of increasing bilateral trade and investments, academic cooperation and strengthening Michigan's relationship with the state of Israel.

In a statement before leaving Governor Snyder said "Michigan's longstanding ties with Israeli companies and academic institutions have created excellent opportunities to improve trade, increase business investment and scientific research. We look forward to building on these highly productive relationships." Snyder added he would be delivering a message that Michigan "is more business friendly than ever and the best state in North America in which to compete and grow."

This trip will be Snyder's first as governor to the Middle East. He has already gone on missions to Asia, Europe, and Canada. The delegation will travel to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Haifa and the Galilee region to meet with government leaders, business executives and university officials. The governor will also participate in the Israeli President's Conference, 'Facing Tomorrow 2013,' including a celebration of Israel President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday.

Israel is the only country with free trade agreements to both the United States and the European community and can act as a bridge for international trade between countries.

Some facts about the Michigan and Israel business relationship:

  • Michigan companies exported nearly $117 million in good and materials to Israel in 2012, making Michigan the 19th state in the U.S. for exports to Israel.
  • Transportation equipment was the largest export item, at nearly $70 million in 2012, followed by machinery, chemicals and food manufacturers.
  • Michigan ranks 15th among states for imports from Israel.

The Israel mission is being conducted at the invitation of the Israeli government and hosted by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.