While the rest of the world has been focused on historic deals between Israel and the UAE, the city of Yuma, Arizona and Ramat Hanegev Regional Council also quietly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen partnerships.
The purpose of the MOU between the two regions is to share expertise and collaborate on areas of mutual interest such as desert agriculture, high-tech agriculture technologies, desert tourism, broadband, rural internet connectivity, water usage and conservation, aerospace industries, educational innovation, border issues and related opportunities for economic development, said an Israeli government statement.
The MOU was signed Wednesday night via Zoom in the presence of the Ramat Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Eran Doron, Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls and Arizona – Israel Trade and Investment Office Director General David Yaari. Also participating were Science and Technology Minister Yizhar Shai; Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel, and Israel Space Agency Director General Avi Blasberger.
Ramat Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Doron said, “The resemblance between the two regions, the vast knowledge accumulated over the years in the fields of desert agriculture, desert tourism, water use, and life alongside a border with a neighboring country,” is what led Ramat HaNegev Regional Council and Yuma to join hands in their areas of expertise for a better future for both regions.
The MOU signing comes months after Mayor Nicholls traveled to Israel with the Arizona Commerce Authority’s (ACA) Arizona-Israel Trade Office. The exchange took place just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and included meetings and conferences about commercial opportunities between Israel and Arizona.