Israel and California leaders sign pro-business agreement

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks off stage after signing a pact to strengthen economic and research ties between California and Israel at the Computer History Museum on March 5, 2014 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent the day in Silicon Valley meeting with high-tech leaders.

He also signed an agreement with Governor Jerry Brown to promote trade, research and economic development.

California and Israel have had such pro-business agreements dating back decades.

Brown’s office said today’s deal will connect Israeli venture capitalists with California technology researchers.

The agreement also lays the foundation for California to work with Israel on water conservation and management. Netanyahu and Brown discussed the state’s drought, as well as issues like cyber-security and alternative energy generation.

Netanyahu also asked Brown to help get direct flights between San Francisco and Tel Aviv, and thanked Brown for divesting California’s pensions from Iran.

Glenn Yago is the founder of the Financial Innovation Lab at the Milken Institute, works in Santa Monica and in Jerusalem, and also works on issues affecting Israel’s economic growth.

He spoke with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis about what the two states can teach each other.