Israel has offered a significant boost to Britain’s post-Brexit prospects according to research conducted by think tank BICOM.
In the year after the referendum, Israeli investment increased by 33.5 percent and the number of UK jobs created by Israeli companies increased by 12.8 percent.
The UK remains the most popular destination for Israeli foreign direct investment in Europe. There are 28 Israeli companies currently listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market value of £11.5bn.
According to the report, Israeli business leaders working in high tech, fintech, advertising and gaming remain largely unconcerned by business prospects post Brexit. Some entrepreneurs even view the uncertainty, and potential withdrawal from the UK by EU companies, as a significant opportunity.
However, BICOM cautioned that London must remain a global centre for capital to continue attracting Israeli firms.
BICOM chief executive James Sorene said: “It is very positive news that officials in both Israel and Britain are keen to complete a free trade agreement as soon as they can. This is vital to ensure a steady supply of drugs to the NHS and could even lead to cheaper fruit and vegetables in our shops.
“But to thrive after Brexit, we need more British companies to export and set up in fast growing markets like Israel. It is disappointing that only a tiny number of British companies have opened innovation centres or bought Israeli firms in the last three years.”
Just five British companies have opened innovation centres or acquired Israeli firms since 2014, a much smaller number compared with firms from the US, China and Canada.
Hugo Bieber, chief executive of UK-Israel Business, echoed these concerns, saying: “Israeli firms have concerns which must be addressed by the UK.”