Cabinet ratifies economic agreement with China

Trade and Labor minister calls deal a step towards free-trade agreement; PM hopes for $10 b. exports in 3 years.

Window on China 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Window on China 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The cabinet on Sunday ratified an agreement that is set to expand bilateral research and development projects between Israel and China.
The agreement will be overseen by the Chief Scientist's Office, and is one of 45 bilateral agreements that the office is promoting to increase joint economic activity with China.
Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Shimhon commented on the agreement, saying that it "is one of the most important tools available to promote trade ties with China, and includes the establishment of a special fund to support [Israeli] companies operating in China and India."
Shimhon also stated that "China is one of the most important countries in terms of relations with Israel, together with India."
Speaking of the future of Sino-Israeli relations, Shimhon stated that "we are in the process of negotiating a free-trade agreement with China, and this agreement is another step that we are taking towards that end."
Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that "we are hoping to reach our target of $10 billion in exports to China within three years."
He added that "in June, I will travel to China to promote this issue. Israel and China together is a winning combination because we are two peoples with magnificent traditions but that have also adopted the fundamentals of modernity."
Trade and Labor Ministry Chief Scientist Avi Hasson said that "Israeli exports to China have increased by more than 30 percent since last year, primarily due to the strengthening of the domestic technological industry."