Shimon Peres:


«No country, not even the US, can determine the fate of the global economy. 40 years ago, the average American citizen was 30 times wealthier than the average Chinese citizen. Today, that gap has narrowed to five. The US economy has fallen from a third of the global economy to a fifth, said President Shimon Peres said at the start of the «Globes» Israel Business Conference 2010 in Tel Aviv this morning.

Peres added, «The Chinese and the Americans are interdependent, and it is taking up more and more room. China is trying to buy the world, and so are the Russians. The world is trying to enter China and the competition is intensifying. The old national economy is giving way to the global economy.

«Almost no country in the world, Israel included, is just a national state any more. All countries are affected in all fields by global events. Our fate is not just historical, but also global. In the past, the world’s 192 countries were like ships on the sea, and the biggest problem was to prevent collisions. Today, the world is more like one great ship with 192 cabins. The cabins are the nations, and on the global ship, and the fate of every cabin on board depends on the fate of the ship, and what happens in the cabins affects the fate of the ship.»

Peres said, «When there are dangerous cabins, and they exist, then a broad coalition of other cabins will press the dangerous cabins to surrender for the good of the ship. The problem is ship-wide, and not a problem of collisions between ships. No matter where you look, we see the huge effect of the ship on the cabin, including the Israeli cabin. This begins with the economy: there is no national economy. There might be national poverty, but anyone wanting national growth must turn to the global economy.»


Shai Agassi:


«A brand is the sum total of all expectations that people have about a particular product. Israel is also a brand and branding work has to be constantly conducted for it. That’s what we do at Better Place. We combine our brand with Israel’s,» said Better Place LLC CEO Shai Agassi at the «Globes» Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv today.

Agassi added, «The Israeli government has said that it wants to end the country’s dependence on oil, and we’re helping it do that.»

Agassi said, «Better Place utilizes Israel’s extensive human capital. We’re a small country, and that’s an advantage. A lot of mechanisms have been set up to absorb risk, and they created our venture capital and high-tech driven economy. What we lack are competitive mechanisms for manufacturing. We can’t compete against Chinese or European manufacturing.

«Better Place is an Israeli project, and I get patted on the back around the world for our venture. The big question is how we build mechanisms that will create a return on the venture capital and persuade foreign manufacturers to invest in Israel. We can create great change, and we mustn’t lose this faith ¬- the very existence of Israel is a great change. We mustn’t stop it and we must carry it through to the end.»

Agassi concluded, «At the ‘Globes» conference 2030, they will discuss the Israeli wonder of recent years — a country that ended its dependence on foreign energy — by finding gas and severing its dependence on oil… It also made peace because it had no choice.»