Jerusalem, 15 February 2000

Industry Minister Cohen Meets NASDAQ Chairman Zarb

(Communicated by Ministry of Industry and Trade Spokesman)

Minister of Industry and Trade Ran Cohen yesterday (Monday), 14.2.2000, met NASDAQ Chairman Frank Zarb and other NASDAQ officials to discuss cooperation between NASDAQ and Israeli firms, dual listing on the Tel Aviv and NASDAQ stock exchanges and their advantages and ramifications on the regional economy.

"Companies listed on NASDAQ ought to be listed automatically on Israeli exchanges," said Minister Cohen. He briefed the delegation on political developments and the importance of full peace in order to achieve economic prosperity for the region. "Our objective is to create an economic peace, joint industrial parks and joint ventures by entrepreneurs," he said. In the Minister’s opinion, the opening of a land passage between Israel and Europe would bring about a tourism breakthrough and other economic opportunities.

Ministry Director-General Dr. Reuven Horesh called on NASDAQ officials to show greater involvement in the Israeli economy and to develop a relationship with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Mr. Zarb replied that he supports dual listing by companies listed on NASDAQ, including listing on Israeli exchanges. He noted that he considers Israel to be an important regional economic center, especially in light of the large number – over 100 – of Israeli companies listed on NASDAQ. He added that NASDAQ is open to all business opportunities, provided that they are economically viable.