LOMBARDY PRESIDENT FORMIGONI LEADS IMPORTANT ITALIAN BUSINESS DELEGATION ON ISRAEL VISIT
Submitted to: Business 
Posted: March 17 2008

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LOMBARDY PRESIDENT FORMIGONI LEADS IMPORTANT ITALIAN BUSINESS DELEGATION ON ISRAEL VISIT

FORMIGONI TO MEET TOP ISRAELI POLITICAL, BUSINESS & SCIENTIFIC LEADERS

(MILAN, ITALY/ TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, 17 MARCH 2008) Roberto Formigoni, President of the Lombardy Region in Italy, began a high level trip to Israel Sunday, leading a business delegation comprising over 40 participants. The equivalent of a U.S. Governor, Formigoni is President of the Lombardy Region, the most important economic region in Italy that includes the international business capital of Milan.

President Formigoni began his trip with a conference at the Manufacturers' Association in Tel Aviv on Sunday 16 March that focused on government policy towards research and technology transfer, with a particular focus on existing scientific and business cooperation between Israel and the Lombardy Region.

At the conference, President Formigoni commented, “Israel is one of the most interesting actors on the global stage, especially in the field of research and development.”

Formigoni leads Italy’s Lombardy region which is known as one of the economic engines of Europe. Some 800,000 companies operate in the region, over 50,000 of which are involved in export. With GDP of some 300 billion euros, the Lombardy economy is booming and boasts one of Europe’s lowest unemployment rates. The economy is centered on a number of key industries including fashion, furnishings, electronics, robotics and biotechnology.

The mission is designed to strengthen business, scientific and government ties between Israel and the Lombardy Region. During his stay President Formigoni will also meet with Israeli government representatives as well as top business, scientific and industrial leaders.

In addition, on Monday evening President Formigoni is expected to sign a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding with Israel’s Minister of Health, Ya’akov Ben Yizri. The proposed agreement will strengthen and enlarge cooperation between Israel and the Lombardy Region in the fields of medical research, biotechnology, IT for medical services and emergency management technology.

Italy ranks fourth on the list of countries from which Israel imports. At the same time, Italy is Israel’s sixth largest export destination, with much of the total coming from technology, chemicals and plastics. Total trade between the two countries amounted to $3 billion in 2007.

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