Australia-Israel Trade Relationships Going Strong Despite Global Trade Fears
By Allon Ledder
28 November 2019
2019 has been a historical year in terms of global trade and economy with both Brexit and the US-China trade war situations simultaneously continuing to deteriorate, the finale of which will likely send shockwaves throughout every country’s economy. However, despite the overall negative trade sentiment, Australia continues to push forward and capitalise on developing trade opportunities.
The Acting Secretary of New South Wales Health and Israel’s Ambassador to Australia have recently signed a Declaration of Intent, the purpose of which is to promote bilateral cooperation in the health and medicine fields between the New South Wales Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health of the State of Israel. The scope of declaration is quite broad and includes a diverse, but specialised, range of fields such as medical research, healthcare operating models and digital health and innovation, and will provide for the sharing of knowledge and expertise between the two parties.1
The signing of the declaration precedes a Healthcare Innovation Trade Mission organised by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. The trade mission will explore opportunities and innovation in healthcare, and the role of innovative technology in delivering better, and more affordable, patient care at home, within communities and in hospitals. It will focus on digital health aspects and technology, as well as examining future directions for medicine and patient health care. The program includes meetings with prominent digital health and innovation policy experts, major Israeli hospitals, cutting edge digital health and med-tech start-ups and life science and healthcare venture capitalists.
This recent declaration and trade mission adds on to the growing commercial and strategic cooperation between Australia and Israel. Since 2017, Australia and Israel have engaged in multiple cooperative agreements, including national security, defence and cyber security.2 This is further expanded by the conclusion of several bilateral agreements including a Double Taxation Agreement in March 2019, an Air Services Agreement in February 2017, and a Working Holiday Agreement in June 2016, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defence industry cooperation in October 2017. The opening in 2019 of an Australian Trade and Defence Office in Jerusalem will further support and facilitate trade, investment and defence industry partnerships between the two countries.3
Israel is a renowned leader in the digital health sector, with a sophisticated digitised health system and a thriving health tech ecosystem. Israel has the highest number of hospital-sponsored innovation centres and/or healthcare accelerators per capita in the world. There are approximately 30 multinationals running digital health R&D centres in Israel including the likes of GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and IBM Research, with more than 25 Israeli healthcare companies listed on the NASDAQ. The introduction of the Israeli government’s $US300 million National Digital Health Plan, which aims to support tech start-ups active in the digital health space, will only further propel the industry.4 Thus it can be seen as a very prudent move on behalf of the Australian health and medical industry to increase cooperation with Israel in this field, and it is expected to boost both the economic value of this industry as well as innovation and tech. Business and start-up opportunities for medical and health start-ups in both Australia and Israel will certainly benefit from the growing cooperation between the two countries.
Tisher Liner FC Law has Australian lawyers in both Australia and Israel. If you are an Australian with interests in Israel or vice versa, please contact us to discuss how we can assist you.
1. J-Wire Newsdesk, “NSW and Israel have signed a declaration of intent to promote bilateral cooperation in health and medicine”, 10 September 2019, <http://www.jwire.com.au/nsw-and-israel-have-signed-a-declaration-of-intent-to-promote-bilateral-cooperation-in-health-and-medicine/>, accessed 22 November 2019.
3. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Israel Country Brief”, <https://dfat.gov.au/geo/israel/Pages/israel-country-brief.aspx>, accessed 22 November 2019.
4. J-Wire Newsdesk, “NSW and Israel have signed a declaration of intent to promote bilateral cooperation in health and medicine”.
The material contained in this publication is meant to be informational only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Tisher Liner FC Law will not be held liable or responsible for any claim, which is made as a result of any person relying upon the information contained in this publication.
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