Yair Shiran Ends Term as North America Economic Minister
In commemoration of the conclusion of his five years of service as Economic Minister of Israel to the United States, the American Israel Chamber of Commerce hosted a farewell reception to bid farewell to Yair Shiran. Shiran will leave his post in August, 2011.
Joined by his wife and three children, the youngest of whom he noted was “made in America,” Shiran received warm greetings from investment and finance leaders gathered to wish him well. Sharon Kedmi, Director General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor, commended the departing Minister on the accomplishments of his term.
Shiran served as Economic Minister to North America, focusing on the enhancement of trade, and economic, technological, and investment cooperation between Israel and the United States. He was a familiar presence, bringing information about the strength of Israel’s robust economic and trade partnerships to industrial and business forums, introducing investment and trade opportunities.
His appointment as Minister came following his service as Director of International Trade Agreements and Policy at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. In prior assignments, Shiran had negotiated key international trade agreements with U.S., Canada, Egypt, Turkey, European and Asian countries, and between Israel and its neighbors. Israel’s intellectual property protection policy has always been a concentration. A former Captain in the IDF Paratroopers, Shiran has taught in both academic and military settings. He holds an M.A. from Harvard University and M.B.A. and B.A. degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
One of Shiran’s more historic negotiations extended the benefits of the U.S.- Israel Free Trade Agreement to products developed in designated Egyptian industrial zones, resulting in an increase in export volume from Israel to Egypt of 600 per cent. (Products produced in the specified zone, incorporating an Israeli component have duty-free access in the U.S. market.)
Business to Business integration and the relationships appear to have remained intact, despite the political upheavals in Egypt. “Both sides,” says Shiran “have an interest to keep it.” In another area sensitive to politics as well as economics, Turkey, trade remains strong. Despite media alarmism, trade between Israeli and Turkey has actually increased by 5-10 percent during the 2010-2011 year.
Business is business: economic incentive appears to be able to outweigh political events.