This week, the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, paid his first official visit to Israel in his current capacity. The visit included meetings with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israeli Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon and the Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen.
As part of the visit, Dr. Kim participated in a panel initiated by the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry entitled "Innovation in a Developing World," which included the Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, Mr. Avi Hasson, Mr. Nati Barak from Netafim, Mr. Curtis Peterson from MobileODT, Ms. Sivan Ya’ari, Founder and CEO of the Innovation:Africa NGO, Mashav, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affair’s aid agency, and members of the entrepreneurs program of the Pierce Foundation for Innovation in International Development.
The Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry has been working to reinforce cooperation with financial institutions involved in development for years, with the goal of sharing Israeli know-how, technology and expertise with the developing world. Over the past few years, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry has spearheaded several agreements with the World Bank on water, ICT as well as an agreement for cooperation with the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, as part of the TechEmerge Program.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen said: "We are honored to host the President of the World Bank as part of his first official visit to Israel. We appreciate the cooperation with this important organization and are acting to strengthen our mutual ties. Cooperation with the World Bank is an opportunity for us to showcase some of the capabilities and innovation that Israel can offer to developing countries. The Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, led by the Foreign Trade Administration, is acting to bolster cooperation with the World Bank and other international financial institutions in order to share Israeli knowledge that can help developing countries, and this in turn can strengthen Israel’s economic ties with emerging markets. In the coming months, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry intends to significantly expand its cooperation with the World Bank by signing three new agreements in the fields of water, cyber-security and agriculture, which will be directed at African countries."
The World Bank Group and its affiliated institutions fund projects via loans (foreign capital) or through investments (equity). The group is active in developing countries and in 2016 offered $64 billion in funding to various projects.