(Photo: Matty Stern/US Embassy Jerusalem)

(Photo: Matty Stern/US Embassy Jerusalem)

By Eytan Halon - December 11, 2018

Thirty emerging Arab-led start-ups sought to impress dozens of Israeli and American investors on Tuesday as they pitched their innovative solutions at the inaugural Nazareth Hi-Tech Investor Conference.

The conference, co-sponsored by the US Embassy in Israel and the Social Equality Ministry, aimed to shine a spotlight on Nazareth’s vibrant hi-tech ecosystem. It also highlighted the need to advance integration of the Arab community into Israeli hi-tech society in order to promote economic growth and a more inclusive society.

While Arab-Israeli citizens represent more than 20% of the country’s population, they represent just 8% of Israel’s GDP and only 3% of the Israeli hi-tech workforce.

“In the long term, peace in this region depends on the economic development and cooperation of people like you – Arabs, Jews, secular, religious, Israelis and Palestinians,” United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the conference’s audience of innovators and investors.

“The more we work together, the more we strengthen the foundation for a lasting peace in a land that has longed for such peace for far too long.”

Read More: The Jerusalem Post