At the working meeting today (Wednesday, 8 May 2013), between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang , Finance Ministry Accountant-General Michal Abadi-Boiangiu signed an agreement with the Chinese Finance Ministry on expanding the amount provided for in the bilateral financial protocol by $400 million.
The protocol is a bilateral financial agreement that allows for the growth of Israeli exports to China by means of state guarantees in support of long-term export deals. In this framework, exporters' financing costs go down, which makes Israeli deals more attractive and allows Israel to stay relevant and interesting in the sphere of international exports.
Up until today, the State of Israel – via the office of the Finance Ministry Accountant-General – has signed three financial protocols with China worth $1.35 billion. In 2012, an additional financial protocol was signed on water-saving technologies in agriculture worth $300 million. Expanding this protocol will increase the financial protocols' worth to $2.05 billion. Since the signing of the financial protocols with China, 236 deals worth $771 million have gone forward. Given the success of exports under the protocols and in light of the almost full utilization of the current protocol, the Israeli and Chinese finance ministries today signed an agreement to expand the amount.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "This is a very important agreement for expanding bilateral cooperation. China is a vast market and if we even slightly increase our market share here it will significantly help the Israeli economy."
Finance Ministry Accountant-General Abadi-Boiangiu said, "Expanding the protocol symbolizes the enhancement of economic relations between the two countries in recent years. We see that the pace of permits from the Chinese side has grown and the number of projects that come to us for approval does not stop growing. We also see new groups that are using the protocol, inter alia, thanks to the agreement that we signed regarding water technologies. By means of the financial protocol, which constitutes an attractive financing cushion, Israeli exporters are succeeding in competing for and winning major tenders with the Chinese government. This is increasing the scope of Israeli exports and also the GDP by increasing employment and tax revenues."