Photo: AP
Vilnius, Lithuania (archives)
Photo: AP

Lithuania seeks to import gas from Israel

Baltic country's economy minister calls for tighter cooperation with Jewish state. 'We admire the State of Israel for being one of the world's most advanced startup countries and a leader in life sciences'

VILNIUS - Lithuanian Minister of Economy Minister Rimantas Zylius says his country plans to import gas from Israel starting in 2014.


"We have already ordered tankers and are building a port for this purpose. This way, we'll be able to end Russian Gazprom's monopoly on gas supplies to Lithuania. We are just waiting for Israel to start exporting gas already," Zylius told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.


According to the minister, "Lithuania longs to do business with Israel. We admire the State of Israel for being one of the world's most advanced startup countries and a leader in life sciences. The Teva facility opened in Lithuania is an example for all factories in the country."


Last week, the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius hosted the Life Sciences Baltic conference, which was attended by representatives from dozens of countries. The Israeli delegation, which included 120 businesspeople and scientists, was the biggest of all.


Israeli company Bioforum even helped organize the event, which was led by Baltic countries Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.


One of the participants was Israeli Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Ada Yonath, who criticized pharmaceutical companies during the conference.


"The companies are not interested in developing certain antibiotics for financial reasons," she asserted. "Scientists must not give up on fighting many diseases by inventing new drugs, even if the companies don’t make a huge profit off the medication."


'Israeli businesspeople always welcome here'

The three-day conference is expected to bring the Israeli biotechnology industry dozens of export and cooperation deals in the coming months. During the event, Israel was crowned as "the leader of progress in life sciences research."


"Israel and Lithuania have a lot in common. They have both made extraordinary progress in the field of life sciences. Dozens of companies and factories are already working together in this field, and the world will hear much more about this cooperation," said the conference's chairman, Paulius Lukauskas.


The Israeli delegation visited the Teva facility and was informed that tens of millions of dollars have been invested by the company in this leading industry and in the Sicor Biotech drug manufacturing plant it bought in Vilnius in 2007, which employs 200 workers.


Lithuanian Ambassador to Israel Darius Degutis said during the conference that scientists and businesspeople from Israel are always welcome in Lithuania. The volume of trade between the two countries has grown over the past year by more than 50%, and mutual tourism has increased even more.


There are 50 life sciences institutions in Lithuania. "We are looking for partners in research, implementation and use of the developed infrastructure in his field, and Israel will undoubtedly be one of the leaders in these cooperation efforts," said Kristina Biraitė, the commercial attaché at the Lithuanian Embassy in Israel.



פרסום ראשון: 09.23.12, 15:32
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