Yesterday we celebrated sixty seven years of Independence of the State of Israel. With every year that passes we renew our commitment to the values, principles and hopes intrusted in us by our founders, in making Israel a thriving, democratic and modern nation.
Israel is a country of many beautiful features, with diversity and creative energy at its core. Another major attribute of the dynamic Israeli society is its cultural richness, emerging from a mosaic created by millions of immigrants.
Despite its small size and limited resources, Israel has become also a flourishing innovation hub, offering remarkable scientific and technological advancements in many fields.
Moreover, Israel actively contributes to the development of other countries, by sharing its knowledge and expertise, firmly believing in the importance of joint efforts in order to meet global challenges.
Our two countries, Israel and Romania, enjoy excellent bilateral relations, based on historic bonds, common values and vision shared by our peoples.
The long-standing strategic and political cooperation is emphasized by the extensive exchanges of high-level visits, culminating with two successful intergovernmental sessions held in the last four years. We are honoured to have had this year also the visit of a distinguished parliamentary delegation, headed by President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Valeriu Zgonea.
The significant number of agreements and protocols signed in those meetings ensure an institutional framework for collaboration across a wide spectrum of fields, like defense, agriculture, health, labour, IT, telecommunication, education, culture and more. Furthermore, new areas of potential cooperation were identified, such as cyber security, energy, and applied research and development (R&D).
However, commercial links are the key drive in our relations, with increasing interest from business communities on both sides. The rising number of economic forums that have taken place in recent months highlights the prospects for more trade and investment partnerships.
In fact, in various sectors, Romania and Israel are complimentary to each other. For example, in the agricultural field, Romania has abundant natural resources such as land and water. As for Israel, despite the lack of resources, it succeeded in providing more yield by developing innovative technologies.
Another example is cyber security, where Israel was among the first countries to identify the importance of defending its critical computerized systems. Romania can both contribute and benefit from this initiative, by sharing its own experience and know-how.
As for energy security, the recent exploitation of gas in the Mediterranean revealed huge natural reserves that allow Israel to become an energy exporter. This generates business opportunities for companies in the energy sector from many countries, including Romania.
Therefore, there are tremendous opportunities in combining our expertise, including by establishing joint venture for absorbing EU funds.
In addition to our strong political and economic relationship, we enjoy rich academic and cultural exchanges, reflected in many events and a significant number of scholars and artists.
Our unique ties are supported by a large number of Israelis originating from Romania and a strong Jewish community here, which has contributed along the history to the development of this country. And I salute the Jewish leaders and members of the communities for showing strong solidarity with the State of Israel.
I take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation also to the Government of Romania for supporting the Jewish Communities in preserving their heritage and traditions, and for its endeavours in combating racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. In this respect, I emphasize the important role Romania will hold during the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016.
As I am reaching the end of my assignment as Ambassador here after five meaningful years, I feel very attached to Romania and to the Romanian people. The time my wife and I spent in Bucharest and across the country we will cherish always in our hearts, and we will take every opportunity to share our love and knowledge of Romania with all.