The Israel Britain Chamber of Commerce is one of those old fashioned chambers, where a smile and firm handshake takes you a long way.

This week, it organised the 8th Annual UK Real Estate Convention, kindly hosted at the home of the ambassador David Quarrey. In his welcoming speech, Quarrey rolled off the numbers to perfection. For example, 2016 and 2017 saw record trade between the two countries. 2018 is not far behind.

What struck me was that roughly two billion shekels – say £0.45bn – is invested every year by Israelis in the British property market. As if to prove the point, David Fattal delivered a presentation as guest of honour. Just this week, the Fattal Group announced the purchase of the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

The Midland …… will be a significant addition to the Fattal group’s portfolio of properties in the UK, which will number 9,309 rooms in 44 hotels when the deal is completed.

With a touch of ironic timing, earlier this week, Graham Stuart, who is Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade, declared that:

The UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship, and we are committed to strengthening it. The commercial team in our Embassy in Tel Aviv actively promote UK-Israel trade in the medical sector and are sponsoring a delegation of 6 Israeli importers of medical devices to meet with UK companies at the upcoming Medica Trade Exhibition this year.   There is also extensive bilateral collaborative medical research between the UK and Israel. The UK-Israel Tech Hub, based at the Embassy, helps to create tech and innovation partnerships across several sectors, including healthcare.
Next month, the Embassy is organising a visit by a delegation of senior NHS officials to Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli healthcare companies who are looking to invest in the UK.