Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Brian Witte/AP)

Gov. Larry Hogan met in Israel Thursday with leaders of a defense company that bases its U.S. operations in Maryland, then traveled to the Negev desert to speak with Israeli cybersecurity companies, his latest stops on a week-long trip aimed at promoting economic development.

Hogan (R) left for the seven-day trade mission on Monday. A group of business executives, university officials, Jewish leaders and members of the governor’s Cabinet, including Chief of Staff Craig Williams, joined him on the trip, which has included several meetings with Israeli business executives who have subsidiary operations in Maryland, an address to a group of high-tech entrepreneurs, and the signing of an academic agreement between the University of Maryland and Tel Aviv University.

“Expanding our global footprint is an integral part of our state’s future success,” Hogan said. “Maryland has a great deal to offer, and Israel is the perfect partner.”

According to the state, about 24 Israeli companies maintain offices in Maryland.

Hogan met with executives from Enzymotec and its subsidiary VAYA Pharma, which recently moved its U.S. headquarters to the University of Maryland BioPark. VAYA develops lipid-based medical foods.

The governor also participated in the signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding between the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the Tel Aviv University.

University officials said the five-year agreement will allow faculty, staff and students to participate in exchanges and collaborate on academic projects.

The universities “have many similarities and mutual research interests, and we share the same values,” Raanan Rein, vice president of Tel Aviv University, said in a statement. The memorandum “should serve as a springboard for joint academic initiatives,” he added.

The governor is scheduled to return to Maryland on Oct. 2. On Monday, he leaves Israel for Italy, where he will attend his half brother’s wedding.