The trip will also be O’Malley’s third to Israel since 2005 (not including a much-discussed “jam session” at the residence of the Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren last year).
O’Malley announced the trip Monday at the opening of ELTA North America, a radar company and subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.
The 7,500-foot space in Fulton, near Columbia, is expected to grow into an electronics manufacturing facility that could employ about 100 people. The company acquired the property in part with a $300,000 conditional loan from the state’s Economic Development Assistance Fund. Howard County has also agreed to offer property tax credits.
“In Maryland, we’re able to attract businesses like ELTA because we believe in innovating, educating, and rebuilding our infrastructure,” O’Malley said in prepared remarks.
“That’s why we’re pleased to announce today that we will be leading an economic development mission to Israel to build on Maryland and Israel’s shared strengths … so we can attract more companies.”
A year ago, O’Malley headlined a delegation of more than 100 Maryland business leaders, elected officials and lobbyists to India. He also made a brief stop in Doha, Qatar. In 2010, O’Malley led a 68-member delegation on a similar trip to China, South Korea and Vietnam. O’Malley’s administration says deals signed during or shortly after the trips netted a combined $145 million in trade and investment for Maryland and the companies that were part of the delegation.
Oren, who was also in attendance Monday, called the ELTA ribbon-cutting a “brilliant reflection” of a growing partnership between Israel and Maryland, and a “poignant example of U.S. support for Israel being invested directly and indirectly back in the United States.”
O’Malley’s office said the details of the trip are still in the works but offered the following sketch:
“Governor O’Malley is scheduled to travel to Eilat to speak at the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy and Innovation Conference alongside Israel’s Chief Scientist Avi Hasson. He will then travel back to Tel Aviv where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; host a breakfast reception for high-tech Israeli entrepreneurs; and participate in a wreath laying ceremony and tour of Yad V’Shem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial.”