Koreans in Israel to seek cleantech collaboration

Government officials and business leaders are here on an extensive visit.

Israel is beginning to acquire standing as a world center for development of renewable energy technologies. A large and high-ranking delegation from South Korea is in the country for a comprehensive, 10-day tour of leading companies in the field, government ministries, and academic research centers.

The Korean delegation is 37-strong, from 22 companies, and from local authorities, and R&D centers. Its members, led by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ambassador for Energy and Resources Kim Jong Yong, have come to examine the possibilities for economic cooperation between the two countries on renewable energy. The delegation will visit 13 Israeli companies: Zenith Solar, Heliofocus, GreenSun Energy, BrightSource, Better Place, Seambiotic, IQWind, Arrow Ecology, ETV Motors, Ormat Industries (TASE: ORMT), EnStorage, CellEra, and Aqwise. The delegation will also visit Tel Aviv University, the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and the Ministry of National Infrastructures, the Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On a visit on Tuesday to electric car developer Better Place's visitors' center, the delegation members drove the cars and were very impressed by the progress achieved. South Korea, the world's fifth-largest car manufacturing country, has tremendous potential to take part in the project. During the visit, the option of collaborating with the Korean industry was raised. Possibilities included automobile manufacturing, producing the batteries, and battery charging and replacement stations.

President Shimon Peres met South Korean president Lee Myung-bak in Davos, and the two leaders discussed collaborations in the field, a sector which is a priority for both of them.

Korean ambassador to Israel Ma Young-Sam told "Globes", "President Peres promised at the meeting to provide good cooperation, and the two governments gave more attention to the visit because of it. The renewable energy field is seen as the future growth engine for Korea, and Israel is ranked fourth in the world in terms of companies operating in the sector. There is definitely business potential, and not just academic. The idea is to merge Israeli technology with Korean equipment and operational ability."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 11, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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