Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren signed a $300 million financial protocol in Beijing Wednesday which aims to boost export of Israeli water technology for agriculture.

The protocol establishes a line of credit which will be used exclusively to fund Israeli investments in China. From a Chinese perspective, it constitutes part of a broader plan to develop water resources in the barren northwestern part of the country.

Steinitz said at the signing ceremony that Israel considers the strengthening of its economic relationship with China as its most important strategic aim. He added that bilateral trade continued to grow each time the two ministers meet, and said he hoped this trend would continue.

Xie said bilateral trade continues to grow “to our satisfaction,” adding that China intends to take further steps to ensure its continued expansion.

Referring specifically to the protocol, he said Israeli water-technology companies were integral to the economic relationship between the two countries.

The two ministers also discussed the possibility of exporting natural gas from Israel to China in the future.

Xie expressed interest and told Steinitz that further discussions will be held on the matter.

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