FOXTEL CEO and managing director Ken Williams is among several high-profile communications industry leaders who will take part in next month’s Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce’s (AICC’s) trade mission to Israel.
Communications Minister Helen Coonan will lead the 40 mission participants, who include Lonely Planet Publications director Peter Shore and Fujitsu Australia chairman Ted Pretty.
AICC chairman Leon Kempler, who will join the November 5-12 mission, said it would create increased opportunities for joint ventures between the two countries.
“There is already an enormous amount of cooperation between the two countries in the information technology area. These missions allow participants to look at specific components within the industry – including pure science and the management of excellence – in greater depth,” he said.
However this is not Williams’ first trip to Israel, having visited in the 1970s when he was based in Italy working as an assistant to Italian composer Luciano Berio, the then artistic director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra. He also visited in the 1980s in his role as CEO of the Australian Film Commission.
Williams said he is joining next month’s mission to foster Foxtel’s “strong relationships” with Israeli companies NDS and Comverse NDS, which have provided systems-integration services for Foxtel’s digital product and electronic program guide design. They are also the conditional access supplier to Foxtel.
“Comverse is developing and installing Foxtel’s new customer-management and billing system, which is a huge project and will be completed in early 2008,” he added.
He said the mission would also give him the “opportunity to refresh my relationship with Israel, a country for which I have a deep affection and abiding commitment”.
The AICC’s trade missions to Israel have been running since 1989. Mission leaders have included Senator Richard Alston, Peter McGauran MP, Singtel-Optus CEO Paul O’Sullivan, former NSW premier Neville Wran and former Optus CEO Bob Mansfield.
AICC NSW CEO Anthony Hollis and his Victorian counterpart, Marcus Mandie, will also join next month’s mission. The AICC was established in 1970 to promote the export of goods to Australia from Israel. A reciprocal organisation, the Israel-Australia, New Zealand and Oceania Chamber of Commerce, is based in Tel Aviv.
Published with permission from AJN