Eli Cohen, Israel’s Minister of Economy & Industry (left) and Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, in Israel

Jim Carr, the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, and now Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, returned recently from a six-day trip to Israel and the West Bank (from Sept. 2-6), in which he met with various Israeli and Palestinian officials and businesspeople – also Canadians currently working in Israel.


Carr, who is also one of the founding members of Winnipeg’s Arab-Jewish dialogue, was accompanied on his trip by Canadian businesspeople, among them Winnipegger Mel Lazareck.

Carr, who had been to Israel many times previously (the last time being, he told me in an interview, was when he headed the Manitoba Business Council, and led a group to Israel seven years ago), said that “as a descendant of Jewish immigrants to Canada, I feel a tremendous sense of pride in what has been accomplished in building a modern, secure and thriving Israel. As Canada’s first Jewish minister with an international focus, I am equally proud of the partnership between our two countries, one that continues to deepen with each passing year.”

While in Tel Aviv, Carr met with Eli Cohen, Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry. The two ministers discussed “new partnerships between Canadian and Israeli companies made possible by the modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA),” first signed in 1997, and which was renewed last year.

According to information supplied by the Government of Canada, trade between Israel and Canada has tripled since CIFTA was signed, having been worth over $1.7 billion in 2017.

Also while in Tel Aviv, Carr “addressed the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference, as well as the LGBTech and Lesbians Who Tech organizations, to promote Canadian expertise in the digital media sector.”
While in the West Bank, Carr “officially launched the Palestinian-Canadian Business Council, and announced a new project with the Palestinian Business Women Forum to enhance the economic empowerment of women from the region”.