As trade encouraged by a financial protocol between the Israeli and Chinese governments rises into the billions of dollars annually, Israeli lawyers are tackling legal and cultural issues that arise in business between the two nations with greater perspective than ever before.
Ram Toran and Moran Yosef of Gidon Fisher and Partners explained in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post that the protocol, though also being used in trade with Vietnam, is not business as usual and is designed to soften up the market by providing loans on unusually good terms to companies doing business with China.
These “incredible” terms include initial payments of as low as 1.5 percent per year or 3.3% over 12 years instead of a more standard 15%, says Toran.
Yosef describes the protocol as involving Israeli banks providing long-term credit for Chinese industrialists purchasing equipment from Israeli manufacturers, focused on the medical, agricultural and water desalination sectors.
Israeli banks are insured by Ashra Israel Export Insurance Corp. Ltd., a government corporation, so that they are protected from the long-term debt they are financing, while China has made certain guarantees to the Israeli government about repaying the credit, she says.