AN MP has called on local businesses to export to the Middle East in the wake of Brexit.
The call from Havant MP Alan Mak follows his visit to Israel in a bid to lobby for a trade deal as Britain leaves the European Union.
During the trip, he met British ambassador David Quarry and embassy officials to discuss export prospects and visited two Israeli companies interested in using Havant as a base.
He also visited the carbonated water company Sodastream, where despite tensions in the region, Arabs and Jews work side-by-side.
Following the trip, Mr Mak said ‘backing local businesses and ‘strengthening our economy’ is his ‘top priority’ as an MP.
‘Israel and the wider Middle East are key markets, and Brexit means we must redouble our efforts to promote our exports,’ Mr Mak said.
‘I’m in discussions with two Middle East-based businesses interested in our area, and I’ll continue working hard to showcase all that Havant has to offer.’
More than 300 Israeli companies operate in the UK in sectors including technology, pharmacy and finance.
The London Stock Exchange is also home to 28 Israeli companies with a combined market capitalisation of more than $8bn.
Mr Mak added: ‘Havant’s successful economy means we make and export everything from kitchen mixers to boat anchors around the world.
‘This was a very successful trade promotion visit, and I was very proud as local MP to be championing our exporters to growing markets in the Middle East.’
British ambassador David Quarrey said: ‘Israel and the wider region represents a substantial export opportunity for British businesses including from Havant.
‘I’m delighted Alan Mak visited our region to promote his constituency’s businesses and meet local business leaders which has generated leads he can work on when he returns home.’
Mr Mak also laid a wreath at the British War Memorial and Cemetery in Jerusalem as part of his visit, ahead of the centenary of the end of the First World War.