Gov. Edwards heading to Israel on economic development trip

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will lead an economic development mission to Israel later this month.

During his trip, Gov. Edwards is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government leaders in Jerusalem. The Louisiana group will also travel to Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city and commercial center, for discussions on building business development opportunities for Louisiana companies.

“I’m looking forward to selling Louisiana because we have so much to offer here,” Edwards said in an interview with WAFB. “So many of our businesses have experience and expertise that are important to Israel.”

Edwards co-chairs the National Governor’s Association initiative on cyber-security, and said Israel is “indisputably the leader in the world when it comes to private sector investment in cyber-security.” He said he hopes to attract Israeli investment into Louisiana’s cyber-security industry.

“We’re already one of the leaders in the nation,” Edwards said, touting investments in the National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City, Barksdale Air Force Base, and higher education partnerships with LSU, Louisiana Tech, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of New Orleans and other schools.

“We’re going to do a lot of good things for the state of Louisiana to build a closer relationship with Israel that will pay dividends for many years to come.”

The group will also meet with Israeli water management experts. Edwards said that Louisiana sometimes has too much water and Israel does not have enough. Though the problems are different, the solutions can be related.

Edwards will be accompanied by several prominent Louisiana business leaders and researchers, including Donna and Hans Sternberg, John Davies of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and leaders from the Louisiana Cyber-security Commission.

Capitol Correspondent Matt Houston will also be traveling with the governor and reporting on the trip for Louisiana Raycom stations including WAFB in Baton Rouge, KSLA in Shreveport, WVUE in New Orleans, and KPLC in Lake Charles. Raycom Media is paying for all of Houston’s travel expenses.

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