Bible Belt Economies: Louisiana and Israel’s Strategic Partnership

Louisiana has one major characteristic in common with the state of Israel: we are both filled with proud people who have a deep affinity for our respective lands, culture and traditions.

Since its founding seven decades ago, Israel has emerged as an economic powerhouse in the Middle East. The modern towers and thriving business centers of Tel Aviv, along with the concerted focus on ingenuity and research in the Israeli workforce, prove to be an inspiring modern complement to the historic images of the Holy Land as described in the Bible.

From the ancient sites of Jerusalem to the white sand beaches of the Mediterranean Sea to the research institutions that dominate their modern economy, Israel is worth a visit as both a tourist and businessperson.

As CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) and a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, I was honored to join a delegation to this innovative and beautiful country last year. It became clear to me during that visit Louisiana has an excellent partner in Israel for business opportunities, driven primarily by a shared spirit of individual exceptionalism and entrepreneurship.

Commerce with Israel is already important for Louisiana’s economy. In fact, it is Louisiana’s 30th biggest international trading partner, with exports to Israel exceeding $145 million in 2017. The possibilities for additional collaboration are endless.

Louisiana has long proven itself a consistent and important friend to Israel. Many of our companies have an established presence in this important region and several of our research institutions currently collaborate on important topics like water conservation, energy and cybersecurity. As these relations deepen and expand, the potential economic impact of fostering new relationships in the region only grows in time.


About Stephen Waguespack 26 Articles
Stephen Waguespack is the President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI). As the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturer’s association, LABI is the largest business advocacy group, representing more than 2,200 business members and 324,000 employees.

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