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In this Aug. 13, 2015, file photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, left, speaks during a meeting of his 15-stop transportation funding tour in Nashville.

Gov. Bill Haslam says conversations he's having with some of Israel's top leaders are helpful in understanding international economic development opportunities and challenges.

The Republican governor is in Israel this week on a trade mission. On Tuesday, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and with former Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday.

State officials have said the trip is aimed at fostering relationships between entrepreneurs and researchers in Tennessee and Israel. A major focus is on the biomedical and high tech fields.

The Tennessee delegation includes Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, as well as 18 leaders from Tennessee businesses and research institutions.

Said Boyd: "I am excited about Tennessee's new business connections and the opportunities that will arise as a result."

The delegation returns to Tennessee on Thursday.

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