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Patrick Begins 10-Day Trade Mission

Gov. Deval Patrick shakes hands with Eliezer Shkedi, CEO of El Al, during a meeting at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, on Monday. (AP)
Gov. Deval Patrick shakes hands with Eliezer Shkedi, CEO of El Al, during a meeting at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, on Monday. (AP)

Gov. Deval Patrick arrived in Israel Monday for the start of a 10-day trade mission that will also take him to Great Britain.

Accompanied by Massachusetts businesspeople, Patrick and delegates will be meeting with local business and political leaders with the goal of developing more trade with Massachusetts.

"Britain’s the largest market for exports from Massachusetts. I think the opportunities for new business really lie in a couple of key tech sectors," said Phil Budden, the British consul general for New England.

Tech is also the focus of the Israeli portion of the trip. The idea is to tap into the vibrant entrepreneur sector there, and encourage start-ups to open offices in Massachusetts when they decide to scale their products to the U.S. market.

On Monday, Patrick met with Israel's chief scientist, Avi Hasson, and the head of EL AL Airlines, Major General Eliezer Shkedi. Patrick asked Shkedi to begin direct flights between Boston and Tel Aviv.

A meeting slated with Israeli President Shimon Peres was rescheduled for Thursday.

With reporting from WBUR's Curt Nickisch.

This program aired on March 7, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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