October 14, 2010, Updated September 24, 2012

“We are always interested in more investments in Israel. We will be happy to acquire a large and independent company in Israel, or some small companies – what I call mergers into the existing framework and I think we will do both,” said Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett.

Buffet was speaking in a video interview screened on Tuesday at the first annual socioeconomic conference of Israel’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labor held at Airport City, adjacent to Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport. In the interview he shared with the participants his views on the global economy and the role governments play in maintaining prosperous economies.

He said, “If you are looking for brains – stop in Israel, there is no need to go further… In my opinion, Israel as a state has proven that it has an exceptional amount of brains and energy and in my eyes it works.

“…They had no advantages 50 years ago and more. What they brought was brains and energy and look how it has paid off. I think that this is a special example. They are the best that I’ve seen.

Referring to his purchase of Israeli company Iscar a few years ago, he stressed, “I’m more than satisfied with my investment in Iscar.”

In addition to Buffett, the 500 participants heard speeches by 10 cabinet ministers, the head of the opposition, the chairman of the Histadrut Labor Federation, the president of the manufacturers association, former finance ministers and Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry officials.

One topic that came up continuously throughout the day was the issue of Israel’s enormous financial gaps and particularly the way they relate to the ultra-Orthodox Jews and the Arabs, the two poorest segments of Israeli society.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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