LONDON (Feb. 28)
More than 100 British businessmen too port yesterday in on all day seminar on investment opportunities in Israel amid claims that Britain is beginning to lose some of its traditional anxiety about the Arab boycott.
Top Israeli industrialists told the seminar, organized by the Anglo-Israel Chamber of Commerce, that British investors should make better use of Israel’s skilled labor force, law wage levels and access to the European and American markets.
Although no new investment is expected immediately, the organizers said that the conference itself is a sign of the changing climate about Israel investment. When the Anglo-Israel Chamber of Commerce called a similar conference a year ago, it attracted only 15 participants and was held in secret.
The keynote of the conference was the economic implication of the Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations, should they succeed. Dr. Eliezer Sheffer, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel, called on the United States to pool its aid to Egypt and Israel into a joint development fund embracing both countries. Although peace would not bring immediate economic benefits, it offered prospects for such schemes as joint development of the Gulf of Eilat as an international tourist attraction, he said.
Among participants were three of Britain’s four leading banks, nationalized industries and large companies like Courtaulds, the textile manufacturers, and Glaxo, the pharmaceuticals manufacturer.