The cabinet, keen on capitalizing on the momentum created by Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to China, approved on Sunday the establishment
of two governmental bodies aimed at pushing forward Israeli business and
economic interests in the East Asian superpower.
repeatedly during his trip two weeks ago that a different business model must be
used with China since it is a communist country with a centralized
Rather than Israeli businessmen trying in a wildcat fashion to
make inroads, the better model – Netanyahu believes – is to work on a
government-to-government, and when necessary leader-to-leader, level.
such, the government approved the establishment to two high-level committees,
whose objective will be to implement plans to strengthen Israeli-Sino economic
ties, including increasing trade, mutual investments, and research and
development projects between the countries.
The establishment of the
committees is a product of agreements reached by Netanyahu and his Chinese
counterpart, Li Keiqung, during Netanyahu’s meetings with him in Beijing. The
Chinese are to set up similar committees.
The first committee is a
ministerial committee headed by Netanyahu, which will include Economy and Trade
Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Health Minister Yael
German, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Yair Shamir, Transportation
and National Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz, Minister of Strategic and
Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz and Water and Energy Minister Silvan
The purpose of this committee, Netanyahu said, is to “reduce the
bureaucracy for Israeli companies competing in China and in order to submit
various projects by Israeli experts and Israeli companies throughout China, and
most likely outside China, in third countries.”
The second committee will
be headed by Netanyahu’s economics adviser, Eugene Kandel, and include the
directors-general of all the relevant ministries.
significance to the fact that Chinese Prime Minister Li said that China’s top
planning agency, which is of great importance, will be part of the Chinese
committee,” Netanyahu said.
“This might allow us to create a growth
engine here. We are looking for ways to increase the pace of GNP growth, and
opening the Chinese market is certainly one of the things with the potential to
Israel was showing great interest and acting immediately, and
hoped the Chinese would respond in kind, Netanyahu said. “This has important
significance in ensuring growth which, in the end, alongside greater efficiency,
is the most important factor that will allow us to meet our national
Israel and China engaged in some $8 billion in trade in 2011 –
$6b. of which was Chinese exports to Israel – a number that Netanyahu believes
is just a fraction of the potential. While in China he said repeatedly that
Israel’s innovation and China’s production capabilities should make the two
countries a perfect business match.