Israel calls for closer cooperation with China
Updated: 2013-07-05 14:41
TEL AVIV, Israel- Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett Thursday called for strengthening innovation cooperation between Israel and China in the fields of technology, water, energy, agriculture and biomed in order to push bilateral trade and economic relations to a new height.
"I think there is so much that we can do together and right now it's only a little drop in a big ocean of the trade and business relations between the two nations," Bennett told Xinhua in an interview at his office in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, referring to the great potential in China-Israel trade.
The two-way trade between China and Israel reached nearly $10 billion in 2012, making China Israel's largest trading partner in Asia and its third largest trading partner in the world.
"It's not only my first visit as minister to China, it's my first visit abroad as economy minister, I decided that my first visit will be to China before any other country, because of the unique importance," he stressed.
China is "a major power and player in the international market" and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "set an objective for the ministers of the government to create strong viable relations with China," he said, adding that "we've made a strategic decision to go to the east, to go to China."
The main goal of this visit is "to strengthen the ties between the Israeli and Chinese economies, to open up a pipeline of business, to make actual connections between business people on both sides and primarily to open up a channel of innovation, because that's what we in Israel do best, we innovate, we manufacture innovation ... and that's a sort of thing that I think is a huge win for China and a huge win for Israel," he said.
"We have a great desire to share our technology with the Chinese people, and we also want to create a special innovation relationship with China. We want to see Chinese business people come to Israel, and Israeli business people live for a while in China and sort of being economic ambassadors of both sides," said the 41-year-old minister, who was a successful software entrepreneur.
"We need to be working together, we need to be doing business together, we need to be bringing new technology to the world together, and I can not think of a more exciting match than the Israel-China cooperation," he said when talking about the need to enhance cooperation between Israeli and Chinese companies.