By Hillel Fendel Arutz Sheva October 30, 2005
Israel is a “science and hi-tech superpower,” said Gates, known as the world’s richest man. “Considering the density of start-ups in Israel and local successes, Israel is like a part of Silicon Valley.â€
Gates began his visit to Israel by meeting with upper management of several leading Israeli hi-tech companies, and afterwards with some 400 Microsoft Israel employees. The Haifa-based Microsoft Israel was the 13th foreign-based subsidiary company founded by Microsoft, and Gates had warm words of praise for its performance. Though Microsoft Israel was born in 1988, this was Gates’ first visit to Israel.
Gates also praised Israel’s hi-tech community for its achievements in information security and the high rate of computer literacy among Israelis.
“Israel is a major player in the hi-tech world,” Gates told Maariv. “Hi-tech people are very aware that Israel, compared to its small size, has some amazing technological achievements. There is a greater concentration of talented hi-tech manpower here in comparison to other countries – almost to the extent of Silicon Valley… The level of technological integration in the country is evident. The use of fast speed internet, lap tops and cell phones is advanced here and puts Israel at cutting edge of world technology.”
Asked how it feels to be the worldâ€™s richest man, Gates said it is both an honor and a responsibility. â€œEverything I do involves a lot of responsibility,” he said, Israeli21c reported. “My work at Microsoft and for charity involves a lot of responsibility, but I also enjoy what I do. My wealth enables me to do things, and I must confess that I make the right choices on how the wealth is distributed for treating diseases… My wealth is now mainly divided between Microsoft shares and the money I donate to charity.â€
Today, the Microsoft wizard met with 40 “outstanding” high school students, conducting a workshop for them on technological development.
Gates then met with Acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert – who congratulated Gates on his upcoming 50th birthday – and was scheduled to meet afterwards with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before departing for Jordan. His tight scheduled also included delivering the keynote address to some 2,500 businessmen at a Microsoft Israel seminar entitled, “The New World of Work.”