Israeli companies out in force at 3GSM

Forty-four Israeli firms participated in last week's 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor reported.

The high Israeli turnout was the result of a decision made this year by the ministry to work with the institute, said ministry General Director Ra'anan Dinor, via a statement from the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.

Together, the organizations worked with the Israel Mobile Association, with "hundreds of cellular company officials meeting in the past two months in order to promote the Israeli companies at the [3GSM] exhibition," the statement quoted Dinor as saying.

In addition to the inter-Israeli cooperation, the 3GSM World Congress also provided the opportunity for Israel's chief scientist, Dr. Eli Ofer, to discuss technological cooperation with the heads of large European communications corporations, the statement said.

At the congress itself, the Israeli companies joined forces to create an Israel pavilion, said Boaz Hirsch, the ministry's director of foreign trade, via the statement.

The project to foster cooperation between the companies and to build the pavilion cost more than half a million dollars.

Communications technology is one of Israel's biggest products, comprising 22 percent of all high-tech exports. In 2005, the country's communication technology exports totaled $14.2 billion.

The cellular phone convention, which concluded Thursday, was "the biggest mobile show on earth," according to the 3GSM World Congress Web site. Some 50,000 people attended the event, held in Barcelona specifically to attract and accommodate a larger turnout, the Web site said.

A total of 962 companies exhibited. 3GSM said this was a 40 percent increase over the 2005 participation rates.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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