Israeli investors looking to partner with Town

By on May 15, 2017

An American company that works with financial investors in Israel is looking as arranging economic development opportunities and infrastructure projects with the Town of Osoyoos.

Andrew Harvey, the president of BGA Management America (BMA) in Texas, spoke to members of Town of Osoyoos council Monday morning via video satellite connection from Israel.

Dallas Morin, a local integration partner with BGA Management America, who lives in Kelowna, was also on hand to provide information and answer questions from councillors about a possible working relationship.

BMA is comprised of financial, legal, insurance and commodities experts who have combined their experience and knowledge to create a unique and innovative proprietary method for funding economic development, said Harvey. His company is working to introduce proven technologies developed in Israel, while providing investment funding for economic development and infrastructure projects to town, cities and municipalities in Canada and the United States, while creating value-added jobs.

His company wanted to discuss possible projects in Osoyoos because this town is located so close to the United States and is very close to major transportation corridors in the U.S. and larger markets in British Columbia, he said.

Investors in Israel would like to arrange partnership agreements to provide funding to greatly increase efficiencies and savings for infrastructure projects without increasing debt or any obligation to the town of city and by doing so, the town or city would not have to apply for loans, raise taxes or acquire any additional debt to fund target projects, he said.

“The reality is that because Israel is small, it needs a bigger market,” said Harvey.

Proposed large projects for the Town of Osoyoos could include smart infrastructure for street lights, communications, water/wastewater management, smart logistics to enhance transportation corridors and possible free trade zones and smart cities initiatives to improve housing, street lights, wastewater and recycling management projects.

Sister cities in Israel of similar size would share technological advances with things like street lights to better use capital investments provided by Israeli investors, he said.

A city called Beit Jaan would be a good sister city as it has the same population base as Osoyoos, he said.

While there has been contact with several other Canadian cities and towns, Osoyoos is the preferred choice for his company to sign a working agreement, said Harvey.

“The good news is you would be the first in Canada and the bad news is you would be the first in Canada,” he said.

His company has signed an agreement with Dodge City, Kansas to use technological advances in that city’s huge meat processing industry, he said.

His company has partnered with one of Israel’s largest legal firms and that firm represents many government and private entities, including the Israeli Rail and Road Companies, he said.

His company works with towns and cities to integrate proven technologies into projects, along with 100 per cent of the capital required to complete these projects, he said.

Canada is a very attractive market for Israeli investors because the two countries share similar taxation rules when it comes to foreign investment, he said.

“Canada is very attractive because of the low Canadian dollar and low interest rates,” he said.

Israel has less than eight million people, but has a thriving high-tech industry that would be beneficial in large and growing countries like Canada and the United States, he said.

“Israel is small … but we have a lot to offer,” said Harvey, who has lived in the Middle Eastern country for the past five years.

Harvey reiterated he’s confident the Town of Osoyoos would benefit from partnering with his company and Israeli investors and technology.

“The funding is already there … and we want you to join us,” he said. “It has to be mutually beneficial.”

The savings that result from using Israeli technology would go directly back to the town, he said.

Morin said his job would include engaging in further discussions with community leaders in how to implement and develop projects once deals are finalized in Israel.

Coun. Carol Youngberg asked Harvey “what’s in it for you” as companies simply don’t offer free money without getting solid financial return.

Harvey reiterated there’s very little room for economic growth in Israel due to its small size and his company would only get its return on investment from the significant savings generated due to the quality technology being offered to communities.

All deals would also have to be approved by the senior levels of government, he said.

“It would be government to government investments … and all investments have to be mutually beneficial,” he said.

Council passed a motion that approves Morin engaging in further discussion with CAO Barry Romanko to further discuss investment opportunities and a report will be prepared for council relating to those discussions in the near future.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

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One Comment

  1. Dianne Varga

    May 18, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    This story is getting weirder and weirder. The door-to-door salesman is offering to give the products away for nothing in return?

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