Yori Guy Ron – The Globalization of Knowledge Based Industries 9.2.2011

Distinguished delegates, dear colleagues and guests

I am both honored and delighted to participate in the opening of this remarkable event- the 2nd international joint conference of the Israel Bar Association and the International Bar Association

Let me first express my deepest gratitude to the International Bar Association for the joint effort in the establishment of this important event. This joint international conference has considerable benefits and importance to us all, and it is developing the collaboration between the Israel Bar Association and the International Bar Association. The first joint conference that was held 2 years ago in Eilat was a remarkable success, and I am convinced, after looking at the preparation and all the heart and soul that both organizations have put into the conference, that this event, will surely be an exciting exchange of information, shall broaden the growing relationship between the organizations, and can even help us explore new exciting potential opportunities for the near future. We welcome the IBA’s programs with open arms and we will be honored to host more conferences, like this event, at the beautiful sightings of Israel

While scanning the program for this international conference, one is immediately impressed by the wealth of international expertise you all represent, and the spectrum of important issues covered by the panels you will be participating in. It is no coincidence that this conference, titled “The Globalization of Knowledge Based Industries”, is presented here in Israel. As it was said, very visually, by the editor of TechCrunch Europe (one of the most popular blogs in the technology field), “wherever you throw a stone in Tel-Aviv it is most likely that you will hit a high-tech entrepreneur” (or lawyer). Israel is even called the “Silicon Wadi” being second to the “Silicon Valley”
In the words of Bill Gates “Israel is one of the most advanced countries in the world … Israel is advancing in high-tech even more than other developed countries”. Gates' saying is being confirmed by the OECD ranking Israel 2nd in terms of high-tech exports for the year 2009. Furthermore, as of the same year, there is a total of 3,850 start-ups, one for every 1,844 Israelis (And 1 lawyer for every 153 Israelis)

One can almost think that founding a start-up company has turned into a national sport in Israel. Moreover, after the United States, Israel has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country in the world, including India, China, Korea, Singapore, and Ireland
Furthermore, in patents per capita, our country ranks behind only the United States and Japan. So, even if you have never been to Israel, it is most likely that you own an Israeli product- whether a cell phone, computer chip, USB stick and a lot more. This unbelievable phenomenon has caught the attention of the world as one can see in the bestseller book that refers to Israel as a “Start-up Nation”
This amazing extend of the Israeli market and all of the technological improvements and progress that the Israeli companies has created, are important factors underlying the globalization process here in Israel. The local Israeli economy has opened itself to international markets in all economic spheres. The cutting-edge technology which was formulated here in Israel has succeeded to cross the Israeli borders, and in the year 2010 we can see that 391 Israeli high-tech companies raised $1.26 billion from local and foreign venture investors. Israel, a country with a population of seven and a half million- approximately the population of New Jersey- has succeeded in breeding dozens of technology companies that have gone international
All this rapid change and advance has influenced the legal profession. The growth of the knowledge based industry in Israel has produced new kind of cases that the law firms in Israel are handling, unique cases which involves cross-border transactions. The need to protect the client and its property in front of various entities around the world, has forced the Israeli attorneys to be updated with the constant change of technology and to be fluent with foreign cultures and laws. In order to give the companies the most effective legal advice, the experience of the lawyers in this constant growing industry, with the legal side and the technology side of it, allow them to understand more fully the interests and needs of both venture capital funds and the companies seeking investments
It is long said that there is a substantial connection between the law and society. Due to the growing industry in Israel and to the globalization process, the legal system is changing and being seen today not just as the law of a nation, or international law that links nation states, but also as transnational law in many forms. The legal system has to also take an important role in this situation. Setting the rules and norms on a high standard applying all nationwide, could help this growing industry to flourish successfully and in a way that will help the whole international society growing to even higher levels in all fields, far beyond the political societies of the nation states

In middle of it all you can find the marvelous city of Tel Aviv- a metropolis- the city that never sleeps. Tel Aviv was chosen as one of "Lonely Planet" guide top 10 cities for the year of 2011. Tel Aviv is the ultimate city for living your life outdoors – perfect weather, outdoor restaurants and cafes, beautiful coasts and tree-lined boulevards. Economically, Tel Aviv has become a center of global business, and thanks to its university and museums, it is also the greenhouse for Israel’s growing art, film and music scenes. For instance, you are almost just in time for the 22nd Tel Aviv Jazz Festival and for various exhibitions in Tel-Aviv art museum and the Sixth Biennale for Israeli Ceramic at the Eretz Israel Museu
I am delighted to be participating in this international joint conference with you – the experts, colleagues and all the participants
This splendid event would not stand without the help and hard work of the conference chairs- Eytan Epstein and Harry Rubin, the general director of the Israel Bar Association- Linda Shafir, the international relations coordinators – Dikla Elkabets and Michal waltner, and last but not least, to the one and only Hila Rosen-Glickstein that has wonderfully orchestrated this whole event.

I congratulate you and every one that has taken part in this conference. The outcome has exceeded my expectations
I wish us all the very best for a most successful meeting

Welcome and "shalom" from all of the 50,000 lawyers in Israel – the "start-up" and the lawyers' nation of the world