B-ICC’s Gideon Klaus wins Lifetime Achievement Award

A lifetime achievement award has been presented to Gideon Klaus to honour him for nearly 30 years’ service as executive director of the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce, which promotes and strengthens trade and investment links with the north west.

Gideon, 86, stood down last summer and was succeeded by Nigel Tobias, an experienced entrepreneur with a background in retailing, property and consulting.

Nigel presented the accolade to Gideon at a B-ICC breakfast event in Manchester.
Gideon, who remains involved as the B-ICC’s vice-chairman, said: “It was a great surprise and very emotional to receive the award.

“I started with the organisation in October 1994 and have thoroughly enjoyed working with companies and individuals in the north west and Israel to help them build connections and do business together.

“Israel and north west England are catalysts for many global innovations and it’s been wonderful and satisfying for the B-ICC to play a part in fostering greater collaboration through joint ventures, partnerships and product development.

“I’m pleased that the B-ICC is going from strength to strength, with new people at the helm who have the right skills to take it to the next level.”

As well as being vice-chairman of the B-ICC, Gideon is involved in forging business links with Israel through a number of other advisory and consulting roles.

The B-ICC was relaunched last year with Nigel as executive director and Manchester lawyer Robert Levy as president alongside a new committee.

It has a substantial membership base of individuals and businesses involved in sectors including professional services, banking and finance, property development, retailing, clothing and importing.

Robert said: “Our mission is to build business links between UK and Israeli businesses to create relationships, mutual understanding and opportunities.

“We help UK companies aiming to enter the Israeli market, as well as those seeking to source new products and services, and we promote the north west as a business location for Israeli firms looking to expand overseas.

“The B-ICC does this by providing professional support and advice as well as by arranging trade missions and organising events and networking opportunities.”

Nigel said: “Gideon has given tremendous service to the B-ICC and has been steadfast in building lasting business relationships between the UK and Israel. Everyone connected with the organisation has great respect for all that he does.

“He is a hard act to follow but Robert and I, together with our new committee, are working to the best of our ability to build on his good work and we will continue to seek Gideon’s advice regularly.

“Following two recent events, we have had nearly two dozen new members or expressions of interest in joining, which we are delighted about.

“We continue to engage with trade missions from Israel to the north west, including most recently for the water industry.”

Israel is currently the UK’s 41st largest trading partner. New figures from the Department for Business & Trade show total trade between the countries in 2023 was £6.1bn, with the north west accounting for £272m.

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