Jim Cramer is the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. He and his colleagues promote U.S. exports to the Israeli and Palestinian economies, with particular emphasis on small and medium sized American companies.
First full day of the Trade Mission already generates returns
What a day. We kept Congressman Joe Courtney and the entire delegation running at full speed. At 8 a.m. sharp, Joe and a handful of Connecticut defense companies went to the Israeli Ministry of Defense for a meeting to promote their products. Connecticut’s high tech defense sector is a perfect match for Israel’s security needs.
While Joe and the group were busy at the Ministry, our other delegates started their jam-packed Gold Key schedules. Getting these schedules organized was a lot of work, but we had great help. Anne Evans, Melissa Grosso and the entire team from the Middletown U.S. Export Assistance Center were fantastic. The Commercial Service Israel understands how to do business in Israel, and Anne and Melissa know the needs and challenges facing Connecticut’s exporters. Working together we really arranged some amazing schedules that targeted in on specific client needs. Great job Anne & Melissa!
Congressman Courtney kept running all day. Following his morning meeting he was interviewed for a Connecticut radio show and had lunch with 2 of Israel’s top entrepreneurs. While Connecticut and Israel may both lack natural resources, each makes up for it through smarts and entrepreneurial spirit, so today’s lunch was a perfect fit. Joe rejoined many of the delegates after lunch for a briefing on opportunities in Israel’s security and medical sectors put on by our partner, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.
All of these activities were great, but what we are really about is returns. And today we heard that one of the delegates may have made a multi-container sale to an Israeli distributor. Some final negotiations are going on tomorrow, and I don’t want to jinx it, but I feel great about accomplishing something like this in such a short period.
I followed up with a lot of the delegates during tonight’s fantastic networking event at the Ambassador’s residence. One delegate whose schedule was managed by our senior specialist Irit van der Veur couldn’t believe how perfectly tailored his meetings were. Another thanked me over and over again for the help CS Israel had provided, and a third company couldn’t stop complementing the work Christina Azar in our office did for them. What a team!
Everyone seemed exhausted and exhilarated from what they were able to accomplish during this first day of meetings. I can’t wait to see them at dinner tonight to hear about the success they’ll find today!