President Shimon Peres met with the heads of leading Chinese companies in Beijing on Wednesday.

The CEOs expressed their desire to partner with Israeli hi-tech companies.

Annual trade between Israel and China totals around $10 billion, which Peres said was a lot for Israel, but a drop in the ocean for China.

Peres lauded China for having escaped from hunger and poverty into prosperity and declared that its flourishing economy is an example to the world.

He was pleased with the stable relationship between the two countries, each of which aspires to peace and economic growth. The countries complement each other in that each has what the other lacks he remarked.

Israel is small, without natural resources, but with tremendous human resources, particularly in science and technology. China is a vast country with many natural resources as well as human resources, but is less advanced than Israel in science and technology. Peres saw room for cooperation in these areas as well as in medicine.

Peres referred to the need to bring about peace and stability to the Middle East and to advance the peace process with the Palestinians.

Israel is an island of democracy in the Middle East he said, and China can play a significant role in maintaining peace in the region.

It was agreed at the economic meeting that two parallel teams be set up by Israel and China to examine potential areas of cooperation and that Israel would set up a model farm in southern China so that the Chinese can study its agricultural technology and make use of it.

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