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President Rivlin participated at the Romania-Israel Business Forum

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At a plenary session of the Romania-Israel Business Forum on Wednesday in Bucharest, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin pleaded for bilateral co-operation in the field of healthcare and defence technology.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of international medical co-operation and has shown that our health care system needs to be flexible and resilient enough to deal with new global threats. Israelis, as you probably know, are world leaders in medical technology, including important areas such as digital health. Working together, the people of Romania and Israel, we can strengthen our hospitals and the healthcare system and improve the well-being of our societies," said the Israeli president.

He pointed out that Romania and Israel could also collaborate in the field of defence technology.

"Romania and Israel are two countries that have faced significant threats. Our military alliance is developing based on trust, common values and common perspectives. Romania is part of a small group of countries with which Israel shares military expertise. I believe that our goal should be to integrate Israeli innovations with Romania's capabilities, development and industry, in order to create world-class military technologies that Romania can export. Such co-operation will strengthen our economies, our defence forces and the security of our countries," he said.

According to Rivlin, the two countries have developed joint projects within the EU. Thus, there are currently 137 projects, involving 251 Israeli and Romanian companies. At the same time, he underscored the importance of interpersonal relations, pointing out that they develop also on the basis of business relations.

"This business seminar is extremely important. While discussions between governments create a basis for official relations, business and interpersonal ties are the real foundation of a vibrant partnership between nations. Economic co-operation between Israel and Romania has tremendous potential benefitting both countries. There are many, many similarities between us. In fact in Israel we have a community of 600,000 people of Romanian origins. They feel at home in Israel, we feel at home in Romania. Both Israelis and Romanians are blessed with an innovative spirit (...) and a strong desire to overcome all challenges," he said.

Rivlin also said that over the past decades, Israel has viewed every challenge as an opportunity.

"We have faced many challenges, but we have decided, from the first prime minister we had in Israel, not to look at the confrontations with a sense of fear, with the feeling that we are threatened. We looked at each challenge as an opportunity. We didn't have water, we didn't have rainfalls, we managed to transfer water from the north to the desert, which became a thriving, agriculturally developed place, and the secret of the state of Israel for the last 80 years has been that we have viewed every challenge as an opportunity,"he said.

The remarks were made at a plenary session of the Romania - Israel Business Forum hosted by the Romanian Parliament House. The event was also attended by Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu, the ambassador of Israel in Romania David Saranga, and the Romanian Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism Claudiu Nasui. 

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