Washington state and Israel are globally recognized as centers of innovation, entrepreneurialism, and cutting-edge technology. Indeed, both followed a similar formula to achieve sustained economic success: a dynamic technology sector, international trade-driven growth, and an innovative culture that leverages the opportunities of the digital age.
While both regions benefit from bilateral trade ties fostered by the United States-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and existing research and development (R&D) cooperation programs, some striking similarities between Washington state and Israel reveal an effective roadmap to catalyze economic growth and innovation. A like-minded business approach and shared entrepreneurial spirit – combined with worldclass education, strategic incentives, and public and private capital investments – create a favorable environment that make Washington state and Israel global leaders in technology and innovation.
A like-minded business approach and shared entrepreneurial spirit – combined with worldclass education, strategic incentives, and public and private capital investments – create a favorable environment that make Washington state and Israel global leaders in technology and innovation.
Israel’s thriving startup ecosystem has already attracted the attention of leading Puget Sound-based corporations contributing to significant advancements in areas shaping the digital economy such as, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and climate technologies. In addition to opening offices in Israel to be closer to the “action,” Washington state companies regularly partner with and acquire innovative Israeli startups to expand their portfolio of high-tech products and services. In turn, these acquisitions have given Israeli companies a path to greater market access. This mutually beneficial relationship has further strengthened the existing cultural and economic ties between Israel and the Puget Sound region.
There are opportunities for Washington and Israel to build off already-strong economic ties to the benefit of both economies. For example, bilateral R&D investment foundations help fund cooperative efforts to develop “game changing” technologies. By actively pursuing prestigious grants for academic research and private sector opportunities, Washington and Israel can not only develop solutions for some of the most pressing real-world problems, but also expand demand for Washington state and Israeli exports.
To advance opportunities for mutually beneficial innovation and economic development, policymakers should:
- Modernize the existing United States-Israel FTA to meet the challenges of the digital age;
- Position Washington state’s businesses and academic institutions as U.S. leaders in cooperation with Israeli counterparts
- Proactively address impediments to digital trade to enhance cooperation between Washington and Israeli businesses.