Ho­gan plans to lead Is­rael trade mis­sion this month

Aim is to woo cy­ber­se­cu­rity and life-science firms

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Erin Cox ecox@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Eri­natTheSun

Gov. Larry Ho­gan will lead a trade mis­sion to Is­rael this month in hopes of lur­ing cy­ber­se­cu­rity and life-science com­pa­nies to open of­fices in Mary­land, his ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

The seven-day mis­sion, which is sched­uled to be­gin Sept. 19, is to in­clude a mix of busi­ness deals, speeches, meet­ings with dig­ni­taries and sight­see­ing.

It will be the gover­nor’s first in­ter­na­tional trip since his can­cer di­ag­no­sis more than a year ago, which came im­me­di­ately after his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s first trade mis­sion, to Asia.

Ho­gan and about 35 busi­ness lead­ers, aca­demics and state of­fi­cials plan to visit Beer­sheva, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

A de­tailed itin­er­ary was not re­leased, but of­fi­cials said it in­cludes a meet­ing with the coun­try’s for­mer pres­i­dent, Shi­mon Peres, and speeches to busi­ness lead­ers at the U.S. Em­bassy and at a con­fer­ence of en­trepreneurs at Tel Aviv Univer­sity. They said Ho­gan might also meet with Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu.

The gover­nor, a first-term Repub­li­can, will also re­ceive a home­land se­cu­rity brief­ing from the chief of the Is­raeli po­lice’s anti-ter­ror unit, Mary­land of­fi­cials said. Ho­gan will visit sev­eral cul­tural land­marks, in­clud­ing the Church of the Holy Sepul­chre, the Via Dolorosa and the Sta­tions of the Cross, the Western Wall and Yad Vashem, Is­rael’s Holo­caust mu­seum.

The Is­rael trip has been or­ga­nized by the Mary­land/Is­rael De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter, which works with the Mary­land Depart­ment of Com­merce.

The cen­ter’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Barry Bo­gage, said that Is­rael’s strong cy­ber­se­cu­rity and life-science sec­tors make it a good match for bi­lat­eral trade with Mary­land.

“For Mary­land to have an eco­nom­i­cally vi­brant econ­omy, that’s got to in­clude out­reach to the global mar­ket,” Bo­gage told re­porters in a con­fer­ence call Wed­nes­day.

“We need to go where the busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties are and where the cus­tomers are, and Is­rael is a great place for that.”

Ho­gan’s Is­rael mis­sion is the sixth Bo­gage has ar­ranged for a Mary­land gover­nor or lieu­tenant gover­nor. Martin O’Mal­ley vis­ited the coun­try in 2013.

Bo­gage, who plans to ac­com­pany Ho­gan, said that any good mar­ket­ing strat­egy in­volves a con­tin­ual push.

“In or­der to be in the game, we’ve got to go, we’ve got to be rep­re­sented, and there’s no one bet­ter to do that than the gover­nor,” he said. Busi­ness lead­ers in the del­e­ga­tion will pay their own way, a state of­fi­cial said. The cost to the state for Ho­gan and sev­eral Cabi­net sec­re­taries to at­tend is $120,000. First lady Yu­miHo­gan­will­not make­thetrip.

State of­fi­cials would not re­lease a com­plete list of busi­nesses with whom the gover­nor plans to meet. They re­leased the names of some del­e­ga­tion mem­bers: Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary Pete Rahn. Com­merce Sec­re­tary Michael Gill David Trudil of Brim­rose Corp., whose com­pany re­cently won a re­search and de­vel­op­ment grant to col­lab­o­rate with an Is­raeli com­pany.

Steve Shapiro with eHealth Ven­tures, which is set­ting up a dig­i­tal health in­cu­ba­tor in Is­rael.

Dr. Jay Per­man, pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more.

Christy Wyskiel, se­nior ad­viser to the pres­i­dent of the Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity.

Abba Po­li­akoff, chair­man of the Bal­ti­more Jewish Coun­cil.

Michael Fried­man of the Jewish Com­mu­nity Re­la­tions Coun­cil of Greater Wash­ing­ton.

Bo­gage and Steve Du­bin, chair­man of the Mary­land/Is­rael De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter.

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