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Pawlenty to lead Israeli trade trip

ST. PAUL - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty heads to Israel in December, leading a trade mission to find new customers. "Israel has a healthy economy that, like Minnesota, emphasizes innovation, research and development," Pawlenty said in announcing t...

ST. PAUL - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty heads to Israel in December, leading a trade mission to find new customers.

"Israel has a healthy economy that, like Minnesota, emphasizes innovation, research and development," Pawlenty said in announcing the trip late this morning. "This is an opportunity for Minnesota companies, especially high-tech firms, to connect with promising trade and research partners in that part of the world."

The mission is planned for Dec. 11-18, with visits scheduled for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, major technology firms, business incubators and education institutions. Also, Pawlenty will talk to Israeli leaders at The Israel Business Conference.

Up to 30 government and business leaders are expected to join Pawlenty.

The governor's office reports that Israel is the largest U.S. market in the Middle East, importing $121 million in manufactured goods from Minnesota in 2007.

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Helping to plan to trip are the American-Israeli Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Minnesota and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Gov. Arne Carlson led a mission to Israel in 1993.

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