Governor Deval Patrick said today he will travel to Israel and Britain next month on the first trade mission of his second term.
The Democrat, joined by business leaders including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, will make the trip March 7-17. Patrick made the announcement against a backdrop of British and Israeli flags during a State House news conference attended by Britian's ambassador to the United States, Nigel Sheinwald, as well as the British and Israeli consul generals in Massachusetts.
Sheinwald was in the area after speaking last night at Harvard University.
"Massachusetts is an unparalleled leader in the global economy and a trailblazer for the nation," Patrick said in a statement issued in conjunction with the news conference. "To continue to compete on an international level and create new jobs here at home, we must look outward to new markets and position Massachusetts as the North American destination for business growth."
The statement said there are nearly 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies in Massachusetts. Those companies employed nearly 6,000 people and generated $2.4 billion in direct revenue for the state in 2009.
Meanwhile, there are 478 companies with ties to the United Kingdom in Massachusetts, according to the statement. Some 225 UK-owned companies in the state employ 40,100 Massachusetts residents.
Patrick has taken two trade missions as governor, one to southern California in 2009 to promote the biotech industry and another to China in 2007 in support of an array of state businesses.
But as he neared his re-election campaign last year, the governor curtailed most travel for fear his trips would be labeled "junkets" by political opponents.
In a series of year-end interviews that followed his election victory, Patrick declared he would begin traveling more at the behest of the state and at the urging of a series of civic and business leaders known as the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.
"We have the tools to compete," the governor said last month in his second inaugural address. "We have the talent, the tradition of invention, the venture capital, the ideas. And so we will compete for every job, in every industry, in every corner of the commonwealth, and the world."
Noah Bierman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.