Israel and Colombia have signed an agreement on cooperation in industrial R&D. The agreement will enable companies from both countries to receive government funding for joint projects in industrial projects focused on adapting products to the Colombian market.

“This agreement will encourage Israeli industry to focus on several technological fields with the Colombian industry. The potential for cooperation is significant and through the agreement, Israeli companies can gain exposure to Colombian firms and to new potential avenues of cooperation,” said Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy & Industry.

Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America, after Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. It has a free market economy, stable government and consistent growth. This week’s agreement follows a series of others made over the past years between Israel and Latin American countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay.

The Israeli government is making a special effort to promote business activity with Latin American countries in exports, commerce and R&D.

“The agreement with Colombia is another level in the activity of the Chief Scientist’s Office in the Americas, intended to cement innovation ties with states and institutions in Latin America,” said Israel Shamay, Director of Cooperation with the Americas at the Office of the Chief Scientist.

“This program will allow Israeli companies to close the gap more easily regarding challenges involved in commercial activity in Latin American markets and with reduced risk. It includes R&D support with bilateral government funding, support for direct cooperation with large companies from the region, participation in projects funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and a unique program for adapting existing products to the demands of the Latin American market.”

The new agreement was signed by Israel’s Ambassador to Colombia Marco Sermoneta and Colombian Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, and will be implemented by the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy & Industry, as well as the Colombian National Authority of Science and Technology.

“Colombia’s local market is developed and ‘thirsty’ for Israeli innovation,” said Zaionce. “This agreement opens many opportunities for Israeli companies interested in breaking into the Colombian market in particular and to Latin America markets in general.”