china industrial park 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy photo)
The Infinity Fund, Clal/IDB and China's Suzhou Industrial Park announced a $50 million commitment by the park (SIP) and its partners designed to boost bilateral partnerships between Israel and China. SIP also said it was opening an "Israel Park" section at the site designed especially for Israeli companies to start operations there.
"We are going long-term in China," said Avi Fischer, deputy chairman of the IDB Group. Clal/IDB signed a strategic partnership agreement with SIP as a result of several years of successful investments in China through The Infinity Fund's Infinity Israel-China Fund.
"Israel is a small country rich in technological advancements; China is a large country with a huge market," said Wang Jinhua, deputy party secretary of CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee. "Partnership makes sense; it's a win-win cooperation."
SIP also hopes to attract Israeli companies with an incentive plan where SIP would provide financial subsidies, assistance with governmental processes, tax incentives and customization. He added that Suzhou is the pilot place for protection of intellectual property in China.
The announcements were made Tuesday at a conference in which representatives of SIP, China and The Infinity Fund introduced senior representatives of Israeli hi-tech and biomedical companies and potential Israeli investors in Chinese business to opportunities in China for Israeli technology and innovation.
SIP, one of China's leading partners for foreign investments in technology development, has attracted commitments in excess of $100 billion from international investors, and works with more than 100 of the Fortune 500 companies.
"(China) will continue to grow," said outgoing Chinese Ambassador Chen Yonglong, who participated in the conference as his three-and-a-half-year tour in Israel draws to a close. He noted that his efforts have largely focused on bolstering cooperation between Israeli and Chinese companies and has worked closely with The Infinity Group to up Israeli investment in China. The group, which created the Infinity Israel-China Fund, last month announced the first investment by the fund of $3.2m. in Mate Intelligent Video.
"There is tremendous business opportunity in China," said Amir Gal-Or, managing partner of The Infinity Fund. "It seems that in the future China will impact us more and more," he said, adding that he hoped the event would lead to more business deals.
According to Gal-Or, SIP has the "most advanced infrastructure" and serves as a natural fit for Israeli technology and innovation. Partnerships between the two groups involve cross investments in Israeli and Chinese companies by combining China's supply chains, human resources, high marketing and production technologies and its growing market with Israeli innovations and investments. "By splitting between China and Israel while cooperating, we are able to create significant value," Gal-Or said.
Since it opened to foreign companies in the mid-90s, the Suzhou park's annual growth rate has been in the double-digits, according to Wang Jinhua. Although Suzhou accounts for only five percent of China's population, he said it boasts 10% of foreign investments and some 70% of the foreign science and technology firms on China.
"We believe supporting the introduction of Israeli technology into the Chinese market will produce a positive and lucrative outcome for all involved," Wang Jinhua added. "SIP is interested in creating strong and long-term partnerships with the Israeli business community,"
Compared with an average success rate of 19% for foreign companies in China, the Chinese ambassador said Israeli companies enjoy a 70% success rate there.
The new goal of $10 billion of bilateral trade by 2010, outlined in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's visit to China in January, is achievable, he added.