The US-Israel relationship has been the cornerstone of the tech ecosystem in Israel over the past 30 years. Both countries share similar values and political systems, as well as a sense of shared destiny. In recent years the relationship with China has seen an influx of capital poured into the country, particularly into tech. Now that relationship is “to be decided” for the moment, while the relationship with America continues to stay strong. Over the past few years Israel has strengthened her relationship with several countries with whom the relationships have been at arm’s length, but that has changed as tech cooperation has become increasingly important. The Clearview Partners team is going to cover below the four countries in which Israel is strengthening its relationship thanks to tech and exporting of the Startup Nation ethos.
Japan is not a country that Israel has traditionally had a warm relationship with; in the past Japan’s reliance on Arab states’ oil led them to support those regimes. Things changed significantly over the past few years with closer relations developed between the Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Japan and other Asian countries are also looking at China's rise as the Innovation Nation with much concern and understand how much Israeli tech companies played a role in that rise.
Japan is now looking to Israel, particularly in the fields of robotics and AI, and that manifests itself with Japanese companies looking for opportunities in Israel and more money being invested directly into Israeli startups. An example of this is Japan based Recruit Holdings which raised 375 million dollars to invest into the Israeli tech industry.
Israel - Australia relations have always been good with a strong pro-Israel Jewish community in both Sydney and Melbourne and the fact that many Israelis visit Australia after their army service (and stay on to work there). Australia is facing some of the challenges that other Western developed countries are dealing with; that the world is becoming a more level playing field. Tech and entrepreneurship are helping propel many of Australia’s neighbors in building their economies where most of the workers are young.
Cue the Startup Nation as an example of a country that built a tech paradise out of a desert (much of Australia is desert as well). The relationship has been a two way street with the Australian Securities Exchange’s outreach to Israeli tech companies as well as Australian financial institutions search for innovation in Israel (ex., the National Australian Bank’s partnership with Israel based Bank Leumi).
India during the Cold War played a major role with the non-aligned countries at the UN alongside the Arab states. India has had an increasingly complex relationship with the Muslim world and has over the past few years opened to the West. As China’s neighbor (they fought a war in the past) and with close to a billion citizens India wants to stake its place on the globe when it comes to innovation and knows that relationships with Israeli tech is a good place to start.
India is the world’s largest democracy and growing middle class, but it still has crushing poverty in many parts of the country. Israeli social entrepreneurs are solving many problems plaguing developing countries, and India is a prime customer for those solutions. In order to solve some of India’s biggest challenges Israel launched a 40-million-dollar fund with India to solve problems in rural parts of the country.
One of the most powerful countries in Latin America, with a large population and abundant resources Brazil is also looking to innovate and play on the bigger global playing field. It is also no secret that both countries leaders have a warm relationship. Brazil’s pro-business president Jair Bolsonaro has helped facilitate stronger economic ties around Israeli tech between the two countries.
Major cities such as Sao Paulo have a large Jewish population as well as a rapidly emerging ecosystem focused on fintech. Many Jewish Brazilians emigrated to Israel when the country’s economy took a dip, and as of recent years many Israeli VCs have traveled to Brazil seeking investment in their funds.
Looking at the diplomatic scene today one could not envision that Israel would have shared interests with so many countries across the globe. This is a far cry from where the country was years ago, isolated diplomatically from many countries, but is a testament that if you create something valuable (Israeli technology) the world will reward you.