by Xinhua writer Wang Bowen
BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said here on Wednesday the comprehensive partnership in innovation, which was agreed during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, is the best way to interpret the achievements made in China-Israel relations.
Netanyahu made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, before wrapping up his four-day visit to China marking 25 years of diplomatic relations.
The Israeli prime minister described the cooperation between the two nations as "marriage made in heaven," saying that "the marriage of the Chinese economic capacities and Israel's innovation capacities provides benefits to both our peoples and to the world."
Israel, a small country yet a global power in technology, is eager to show its willingness to expand its presence in the Chinese market.
While Xi sets innovation as a national goal for China and therefore needs world partners to achieve it, "we are eager and happy to be China's partner to that effect," said Netanyahu.
The first International Cooperation Summit Forum on the "Belt and Road Initiative" hosted by China is slated for this May, and according to Netanyahu Israel has a big role to play.
"We can cooperate in communication, transportation, health care, environment, almost every field," said the prime minister, adding that "the advantages of Israeli technology could fit perfectly into the needs of China as its plans to grow and develop."
Netanyahu, bringing a huge business delegation and being accompanied by five Israeli ministers, strives to achieve better access for Israeli companies to the Chinese market.
"I hope to have free trade agreements (FTAs) completed this year so Israeli companies can come here," Netanyahu said. Earlier reports said the two sides were expected to sign FTAs in July.
He also voiced hope to see continued Chinese investments in Israeli high technology.
China is Israel's largest trading partner in Asia and third-largest in the world, with trade volumes reaching over 11 billion U.S. dollars.
According to the Israeli Economy Ministry, half the investments in Israeli funds in 2015 involved at least one Chinese investor, and 40 percent of funds raised by Israeli venture capital firms came from Chinese backers.
Netanyahu also said he wishes that more Chinese tourists could visit his home country. "You are all invited. Israel is a beautiful country," he said.
Upon the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Netanyahu paid a state visit to China on March 19-22.
Li and Netanyahu witnessed the signing of 25 agreements for bilateral cooperation in trade, science and technology, commerce and civil aviation.
The two sides also decided to push forward negotiations on FTAs.
The Israeli prime minister also met Chinese and Israeli business leaders before chairing a forum with more than 600 Chinese and Israeli entrepreneurs.
BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in Beijing on Tuesday an innovative comprehensive partnership between both countries. Full story
BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing on Monday, vowing to advance innovation cooperation. Full story