Israel and China sign cooperation accord

Exports to China rose 8% in 2007 to $920m., and are expected to surpass $1b. this year

china flag 88 (photo credit: )
china flag 88
(photo credit: )
Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with China to boost research cooperation and trade in agriculture, telecommunications and water technology. "The Chinese Ministry of Commerce is interested in the acquisition of Israeli technology in the areas of milk production and dairy farming," he said Monday at the signing ceremony in Beijing, "and we are eager to establish a shared office at the Shenzen hi-tech park, with the aim of identifying potential cooperation between companies of both countries." Yishai is leading a delegation of Israeli business on a five-day visit to China, which began Sunday. He and his Chinese counterpart, Chen Deming, signed the memorandum to formulate a framework for cooperation in research and development projects. "China needs to open R&D centers of Chinese companies in Israel, preferably with Chinese employees who speak Hebrew, of which there are many in Israel, and China needs to reconstruct what Motorola, Cisco or Intel achieved, by realizing the potential of R&D capacities in Israel," said Elisha Yanai, general manager of Motorola Israel, one of the senior representatives of the 40 local companies and law firms on the visit. Yishai and Deming agreed to set up a working group to assess this issue. Exports to China, not including diamonds, rose 8 percent in 2007 to $920 million, and are expected to surpass $1 billion this year, according to figures released by the Israel Export Institute. At the signing ceremony, Infinity Equity, a leading Israeli-Chinese equity fund that manages more than $500m., announced that the China Development Bank and IDB Group together are investing $80m. in the Infinity I-China Fund, adding to the $190m. already invested in the fund. Yishai also met with Chinese Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei to discuss potential cooperation in water technology solutions to tackle the growing environmental problem of water scarcity. To assist China in building an infrastructure for the advanced management of water resources with the help of Israeli experience and technology, the ministers decided to establish a joint working group. It will begin meeting within the next few months. The group, which will include government representatives, academics, experts in the field and representatives of relevant industries, will meet twice a year - once in China and once in Israel.