Spotlight: Israel shows confidence in prospects of economic, hi-tech cooperation with China

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-16 21:01:06|Editor: Wu Qin
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by Xinhua writer Chen Wenxian

JERUSALEM, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Israel is showing great confidence in the prospects of its cooperation with China in the sectors such as economy, trade and high technology.

"Let's look at the facts and you can see a lot of companies from both sides have been exploring the cooperation," said Amir Lati, minister counsellor of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel.

At the end of May, 18 cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed between China's southwestern province of Sichuan and Israel when delegates from Sichuan visited Israel.

The value of the agreements signed in the sectors of economy, trade, and investment surpassed 350 million U.S. dollars.

For Israeli companies, "China is not only a new market but also a huge market, with a lot of potentials for them to extend their operations," Lati said in an interview with Xinhua.

Big potentials in the cooperation between China and Israel are waiting to be dug out in plenty of fields such as economy and trade, investment, health care, agriculture, joint research and development, tourism and education, Lati added.

Also at the end of May, a delegation consisting of more than 100 Israeli start-ups and hi-tech companies attended the GoForIsrael, an Israel-China investment conference which was held in Jinan, capital city of eastern China's Shandong Province.

Currently, 50 percent of Israel's exports to Asia go to China, accounting for 10 percent of the total exports of Israel, Lati said.

The bilateral trade between China and Israel reached about 14 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, according to the figures from the Chinese Embassy in Israel.

Israel has so far signed one agreement with the Ministry of Science and Technology of China on the joint research and development projects, and eight agreements of such kind at the provincial level with Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Guangdong and Sichuan.

Benefits for Israeli companies from the deepening cooperation between China and Israel are enormous, said Yacov Geva, president and CEO of Israeli G. Medical Innovations Ltd.

One of the important benefits is that Israeli companies could enter the Chinese huge growing market and partner with Chinese companies for the long term, Geva noted.

Geva's company is among the thousands of exhibitors from across the world which participated in the first China International Import Expo held in eastern China's Shanghai in November 2018.

"We are developing a long-term relationship with Chinese partners that will help the Israeli companies to penetrate into the largest market in the world with Israeli technologies and solutions that China needs, especially in the health care sector," he said.

Avi Luvton, director of Asia Pacific Operations at the Israeli Innovation Authority, has visited China no fewer than 50 times. He visited China more frequently in recent years as the cooperation between China and Israel gets closer.

The Chinese market means new opportunities for Israel and the cooperation between the two countries not only lies in technology but also in academics, business, tourism and education, Luvton said in an interview with Xinhua.

Chalom Schirman, head of the International MBA at the University of Haifa, said the prospects for continuation of deepening cooperation between Israeli and Chinese firms and institutions in the next decades look "quite good."

China could become Israel's main trade and investment partner before 2049, Schirman told Xinhua.