Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, last night (Sunday, 23 June 2013), met with a delegation of approximately 25 senior Chinese businessmen led by Hang Lung Properties Chairman Ronnie Chan. National Economic Council Chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel also attended the meeting.
Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed with the delegation members, who represent a broad range of economic and commercial sectors, ways to increase the Israeli business world's exposure to China in order to increase cooperation between Israeli and Chinese companies and develop joint initiatives that will contribute to both countries.
The Prime Minister said that cooperation must be encouraged both on government and commercial sector levels, and that ways must be found to integrate Israeli companies in China's five-year plans. He added, "The future belongs to those who lead in innovation, and innovation is a continuing process. Together we can provide the necessary changes and contribute to each other. Together, Israel and China will be a winning combination."
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who visited China last month at the head of a delegation of Israeli businesspeople, has defined trade links with China as a significant growth engine for the Israeli economy in the coming years. In this context, an inter-ministerial Israeli committee – chaired by NEC Chairman Prof. Kandel – to work with its Chinese counterpart in order to advance bilateral commercial ties and give joint government backing to economic links. Today, exports to China (not including diamonds) are not realizing their potential and stand at a mere $2.4 billion. (The figure constitutes a 6% increase over 2011 data.) Israeli exports to China are composed mostly of advanced electronics and communications products, machinery and equipment, chemical products, diamonds and medical equipment.
It should be noted that since Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to China, a series of high-ranking Chinese delegations have visited Israel including one led by the Chairman of Xinhua and a one composed of approximately 15 mayors and provincial officials. Fosun Group Chairman Guo Guangchang also visited Israel and declared, at his meeting with the Prime minister, that the Group intends to establish in Israel a venture capital fund to locate investments in Israeli high-tech companies.