The Czech-Israeli “romance” in the water arena began at the international WATEC event, when Dr. Pavel Punčochář, who is responsible for the water arena at the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, met Oded Distel, head of Israel NewTech, and saw Israeli water technologies first-hand.
An important step forward in the collaboration between the two countries took place recently, on October 20-23 in Prague, at the three day Czech-Israeli Water Management Seminar.
We spoke with Tal Harmelin, Israeli Economic Attaché to Poland and the Czech Republic, about the event:
“The seminar was effective because it brought together under one roof both government officials and regulators and the business sector. In the water arena the two are tied very closely together. When Israeli companies presented their technologies to potential customers in the Czech Republic, and in the same room sat the relevant government officials and reacted positively to the solutions, this raises the confidence of the business community, and pushes forward potential cooperation more quickly.”
The seminar focused on areas of particular relevance to the Czech market, including water safety and protection, wastewater reclamation and aquaculture technologies.
The seminar was organized and hosted by the Czech Ministry of Agriculture together with Israel NewTech, the Israeli government program in the Ministry of Economy, and in conjunction with the Israeli Export Institute, the Standards Institute of Israel, the Israel Water Association, Israel Water Utilities Association, Mekorot – Israel’s National Water Carrier and the Israeli Water Authority.
The Israeli presenters at the seminar included Adi Yefet, head of the water arena at Israel NewTech, Danny Greenwald of the Israeli Water Authority, Reuven Reshef of Bermad, Meytal Shen-Zur of Palgey Maim, Ud Shani of Aqwise, and Michael Pascal of Aquaculture Production Technology. On the Czech side presenters included representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Prague Water Supply and Sewerage Company, The Czech Fish Farmers Association and others.
The seminar participants also ventured out of the Prague meeting center to visit the new control room of the Prague Water Supply and Sewerage Company.
According to the Foreign Trade Administration, trade between Israel and the Czech Republic totaled US$93M in the first half of 2014, a 25% increase over the same period last year.
Adi Yefet of Israel NewTech sees a definite potential for Israeli water companies in the Czech Republic: “The Czech government and private sector understand that in order to address future challenges they need to implement advanced water technologies, and they are also beginning to recognize Israel’s strength and experience in the water arena. This is the root for what we hope will be a quickly expanding economic opportunity for Israeli water companies.”