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Tuesday, March 16, 2010    

Fairfax County Virginia advises Israeli firms on competing for U.S. security contracts

WASHINGTON — Israel and the United States have held a joint security seminar sponsored by Fairfax County in Northern Virginia, where many defense-related agenicies and firms are located.   

The seminar, organized by the major Washington law firm Nixon Peabody, marked a forum for Israeli firms to compete for homeland security contracts in the United States.

Organizers said the March 15 parley, which took place in Tel Aviv, outlined opportunities for Israeli companies in defense and security and advise on marketing, legal and tax strategies.

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"We are delighted that so many Israeli executives could attend this event to hear important information about entering the U.S. market, particularly the defense and homeland security sectors," Gerald Gordon, president of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, said.

The authority, with an office in Tel Aviv, has offered help to Israeli companies to penetrate the U.S. market. More than 350 foreign companies, including about 20 from Israel, already have a presence in Fairfax County.

Titled "Israel-U.S. Alliance: Business Opportunities in Homeland Security and Defense," the seminar was addressed by leading Israeli defense executives. This included former Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Eitan Ben Eliyahu, today a leading defense executive who reviewed Israeli-U.S. strategic relations.

Israeli executives have complained that their companies were largely shut out of the homeland security market. But industry sources said many of the firms have reached the conclusion that only American subsidiaries of the Israeli firms stood a chance for government tenders.

Among the Israeli companies that operate in the U.S. homeland security market are Camero, Elbit Systems, GreenVision Systems, Nice Systems and RaySat. At the seminar, an Elbit executive outlined his company's success in winning U.S. contracts through subsidiaries.

The parley was attended by more than 80 Israeli business executives, who heard a presentation on the need to establish partnerships within the U.S. defense and homeland security sectors. A representative from GreenVision Systems told of the company's decision to establish a U.S. headquarters in the Washington D.C. area.

"GreenVision Systems identified Fairfax County as a strategic target location for its U.S. operations, and one that offers great opportunities for doing business," GreenVision chief executive officer Danny Moshe said.

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