Alumni of the Israel-Asia Center’s Leaders Fellowship program have secured some $185 million for the Israeli economy over the past several years, according to an announcement this week by the non-profit organization.
This figure includes over $160 million in investments and deals – most in the past three years – from firms in China, Singapore, Japan, and India, in Israeli companies focused on telecoms, enterprise software, cybersecurity, agritech, healthcare, and medtech. It also includes more than $22 million in direct sales to countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand, by Israeli companies in the life sciences, logistics, retail, and ICT sectors.
The Israel-Asia Center says the data was collected in a recent survey conducted by the Israel-Asia Center with its Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship participants. The fellowship is an eight-month program in Israel for Asian and Israeli students and young professionals aimed at “building the future leaders of Israel-Asia relations in key-influencer fields, such as business, government, innovation and technology, media, education, and culture,” according to the Israel-Asia Center.
The program provides fellows with networks, tools, and contacts to develop high-level partnerships between Israel and Asian countries.
According to the survey, 75 percent of the program’s alumni are now engaged in strengthening Israel-Asia ties. Over 30 former participants in the program now work at Israeli companies in Asia or with Asian companies in Israel, and nine are currently working in government ministries across Asia or at Israeli embassies in the continent.
The Israel-Asia Center was founded in 2011 by Rebecca Zeffert, also the organization’s executive director. Over the past nine years, the organization says the program has trained almost 100 young leaders from 14 different countries across Asia including those with no diplomatic ties with Israel such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Fellows have also hailed from China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
“This is exactly the kind of ripple effect we set out to achieve when we first started out with this program,” Zeffert said in a statement. “We are proud to see how the Israel-Asia Center has not only strengthened the relationship between the future leaders of Israel and Asia, but has also directly supported the Israeli economy in such a meaningful way.”
“We are living in a new global reality – an Asian Century – driven by Asian economies, markets, increasingly Asian ideals, cultures, demographics, and needs. And over the next year, given the downturn in the economy due to COVID-19, our work in helping to connect Israel with Asia’s economic powerhouses has never been more vital,” Zeffert added.