China-Israel innovation industrial park to be built in Nanxun, China

The park will be a home to research and development in energy conservation and environmental protection, among other industries.

PM Netanyahu with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in May 2013. (photo credit: REUTERS)
PM Netanyahu with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in May 2013.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Aiming to integrate the Israeli innovative spirit with Chinese market capacity, private investors and government officials from China’s Zheijiang province have come together to build a future China-Israel Nanxun Innovation Industrial Park.
“Israel is the country of innovation,” said Ricky Zhang, managing director and president of China-IL Business Association Holding Co., Ltd. “It has many innovative setups and many innovative technologies. But it may encounter some problems with abilities to promote this technology into the market. “When Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu visited China in May, he said that if we offer a marriage between Israeli technology and Chinese market, it will be a win-win situation.”
China-IL Business Association Holding has already invested approximately $170 million in the future 7.2-square-kilometer park, which will be located in the Nanxun district of the city Huzhou, about 125 kilometers southwest of Shanghai.
Representatives from both the investment firm and the local government are in Israel this week, meeting with Israeli companies potentially interested in setting up shop at the site. The park will be a home to research and development in six industries: energy conservation and environmental protection, medical instruments, electronic information, clean energy, new material and intelligent equipment manufacturing.
The investors are planning to divide the park into three zones: an industrial cluster for innovation enterprises, an incubation area for startup firms and a production area to bring technologies to markets, Zhang said. The park will feature Israeli-style architecture, exhibitions for Israeli products and facilities designed to cater to Jewish customs, such as some kosher-style restaurants, he said.
“We hope to establish a platform for the technology transference as soon as possible,” Zhang said. “We have found that many Israeli technologies and also solutions are very advanced, and there will be very great demand in China.”
In addition to the Israeli hi-tech firms operating at the park, many local enterprises will open their doors there to serve supporting roles to the Israeli firms, he added.
To Ye Li Zhong, the party secretary for the Nanxun District and an economic advisor to the Zheijang province, locating the park in Nanxun is critical. Nanxun, according to Zhong, has “three distinctive aspects” – the first being its advantageous location in the Yangtze River Delta, close to Shanghai and accessible by many highways and airports.
“The second feature is that Nanxun has a very brilliant culture and ancient history,” he said. Silk originated in Nanxun, and the ancient town is on UNESCO ’s World Heritage list.
The third distinctive feature is that Nanxun is a prominent player in several Chinese industries, including wood flooring, elevators, washing machines and other home appliances, Zhong said.
“Based on these factors, our Nanxun district, together with China-IL Business Association Holding, we promoted this project called the China-Israel Nanxun Innovation Industrial Park,” he said While the China-Israel Nanxun Innovation Industrial Park testifies to the growing relationship between Chinese and Israeli industries, it is not the first such concept to do so.
Chinese and Israeli business partners announced in November 2011 that they would be building a Sino-Israeli International Water Industrial Park in Dangguan, a city in the southern Guangdong province.
A cornerstone-laying ceremony for the park occurred in 2012, and the site should be able to accommodate companies by 2013, according to Dowell Technological & Environmental Engineering Co., the Chinese firm partnering with Israeli company Shirat Enterprises.
“The water project in Guangdong, I think it indicates the success of the initial stage of the cooperation between China and Israel,” said Wu Hong, chairman and CEO of China- IL Business Association Holding. The water sector represents “only one aspect in which Israeli [technologies] are cutting-edge,” he said.
While the Guangdong park will specialize in one industry, the Nanxun park will feature cutting-edge Israeli technologies in a variety of sectors, he said. In addition, the Nanxun park represents a cooperation between the Chinese public and private sectors and involves government participation, Zhang said.
Nanxun’s location on the Yangtze River Delta is also particularly advantageous, Hong said, as it is the most developed region in China with the hugest domestic market outreach.
“There is going to be huge market room for Israeli companies to seek cooperation or to establish,” he said.