Healthcare companies targeting the Arab world may be surprised to discover that the best point of entry may be through an Israeli-Palestinian joint venture. “Palestinian entrepreneurs have excellent access to the Arab world and they are willing to explore collaborations with Israeli and foreign providers of health services and products,” says Avi Nudelman, CEO of the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Contrary to what many think, there presently is a large amount of business cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian business people, ” adds Avi Nudelman, who spent more than 25 years in the IDF working in liaison activities with Palestinians and Jordanians. “During the past three years we have been instrumental in matchmaking, organizing business delegations to travel between Ramallah and Tel Aviv and in nurturing numerous joint ventures,” he says. He notes that furniture, shoes, textiles and food products of Palestinian origin regularly enter Israeli markets. The IPCC recently formed a Life Sciences division and plans are underway for Israeli companies to increase their manufacturing and distribution of healthcare products to the PA as well as to work with Palestinian entrepreneurs in outsourcing production activities. There currently are a limited number of life science companies operating in the PA, including about six or seven Palestinian pharmaceutical manufacturing plants. WRC is one Israeli company that is already doing business in both the Palestinian Territories and throughout the Arab world. “We have found that the key to serving this sector is to find out from local people what they see as their healthcare needs. They often have a better grasp of their needs than so-called outside experts do,” says Offer Karmi, -– CEO of WRC. With regard to reaching international markets, he points out that Israeli – Palestinian joint ventures give the two sides the best of both worlds: Israeli companies have access to the US and European markets through trade treaties; Palestinian entrepreneurs can readily access the Arab markets. The IPCC is planning a trip in the near future for a healthcare business delegation to Ramallah.