Foundation for ties with Israel laid by former rebel leader
Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor congratulates South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar
Photo: Tiferet Unterman
Just days after South Sudan declared independence, Israeli companies are already storming the world's newest nation – and receiving a warm welcome.
An Israeli businessman has even managed to schedule a meeting with the new trade minister. "I haven't seen such openness anywhere else in the world," he says.
According to Attorney Adi Braunstein, the legal advisor of the Israeli-Arab Friendship Association, Israel's military and moral support to the South Sudan rebels throughout the years is now expressed in economic cooperation.
Humanitarian group, supported by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and AJC, to deliver vital food and medicines to help people of new African country on behalf of Israeli and Jewish people
This cooperation, he says, will lead to deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the payment of which will be guaranteed by the international community.
The required fields of cooperation include security, agriculture, medicine and even the capital market, as the South Sudan government is looking to establish a stock exchange in the new country.
The foundation for the ties with South Sudan was laid by former rebel leader John Garang, who was hospitalized in Israel in the past following an eye injury in one of the incidents involving the Sudan army.
Israeli defense experts have already contacted the country's officials in a bid to train police and army officers, and a company from Ramat Hasharon has been asked to put forward a quotation for fortifying the convoy of the new South Sudan president.
Vacation packages in works too
The Solel Boneh Overseas company is looking into paving roads and building infrastructure. The Sarel company, which supplies medication and medical equipment to hospitals, is also examining the new market in order to train a governmental medical system in South Sudan.
Superlock, which specialized in the development, production and marketing of security doors, has given its franchiser in Nigeria permission to open an office in the South Sudan capital of Juba.
Eli Kimchi, CEO of Fujicom Israel, which markets computers and electronic goods, is in negotiations towards opening a sales office in Juba with the aim of creating a series of produces for the residents of South Sudan.
A dairy farm in the Golan Heights has been asked for advice on cattle herds for milk production.
Tourism is also on the agenda: Aharon Efroni, Jewish-Arab institute at Beit Berl College, has begun preparing vacation packages to South Sudan.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor congratulated South Sudan on its independence recently, saying that "the State of Israel and the people of Israel salute your courage and wish you peace and prosperity on your new journey. Israel will stand beside you and extend its hand in cooperation with your new nation."
South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar said in response that he valued the cooperation with Israel and would work to strengthen ties with the Jewish state in the coming years.
Adi Gold contributed to this report
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