TEL AVIV, Israel, May 29 (UPI) -- Israeli and Palestinian high-tech leaders met to discuss deepening business ties and enhancing economic benefits, officials said.
The meeting, organized by the Peres Center for Peace, the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, Mercy Corps and Israel's high-tech umbrella organization Israel Advanced Technology Industries, took place Sunday at Google's Tel Aviv campus, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.
The sponsoring organizations say deepening business relations between the two sides may also help facilitate a peace agreement, the newspaper said.
"This is a pool of talent that is untapped by Israelis and multinationals," said Murad Tahboub, managing director of Asal Technologies, whose 130 engineers provide services for Cisco in Israel.
"Communicating with our Palestinian counterparts is easier," Yishai Frankel, head of Intel's Research and Development in Jerusalem, said. The cost of highly educated, Palestinian engineers ranges from one-quarter to one-sixth of the cost of skilled Israeli labor, Frankel said.
"For the same number of dollars I get in an outsource budget, I can hire one engineer here in Tel Aviv or four in Ramallah," he said.
A recent report from the Palestine Information Technology Association of Companies said in the past few years more than 500 Palestinian engineers and analysts employed in Palestinian companies work with Israeli IT companies.