U.S. Treasury's Mnuchin hails Israel investment opportunities, eyes infrastructure

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised investment opportunities in Israel on Sunday and said Washington would increase its participation in infrastructure projects there.

“We have a very important relationship with Israel. This is really a great place for investments, particularly technology investments,” Mnuchin, launching a Middle East tour, told reporters in Jerusalem.

“We are going to make sure we do more infrastructure investments here,” he added, without elaborating, in remarks alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel and the United States have strong trade and business ties, particularly in the high-tech sector. Most of the large U.S. high-tech firms including Google GOOGL.O, Amazon AMZN.O, Microsoft MSFT.O and IBM IBM.N have research and development centers in Israel.

Intel Corp INTC.O in May submitted plans to expand its production operations in Israel, with the Israeli government saying the U.S. chipmaker would invest about $5 billion. Intel's exports from Israel amounted to $3.6 billion in 2017.

Writing by Dan Williams; Additional reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Dale Hudson