Israel, China launch task force to boost economic ties
Updated: 2015-03-31 11:11
JERUSALEM - Israel and China on Monday launched a joint Israeli-Chinese Task Force to boost business cooperation between the two countries in Tel Aviv.
The Israel-China Task Force, led by Israel's Prime Minister Office and Israel Export Institute, aims to expand bilateral economic ties with the goal of doubling Israeli exports to China within five years to about $5 billion per year.
The task force will advance a three-tier multi-year plan, according to a statement released by the Task Force.
The first tier deals with building a business climate, including developing Israeli professionals with a Chinese orientation, expanding tourism links, facilitating the issuing of entry visas to Israel and strengthening government representation in China.
The second tier deals with providing support and government sponsorship for major projects, including advancing joint business projects, providing financing and assistance, and initiating joint projects with the Chinese government.
The third tier focuses on investments and technology development, including activities to expand investments from Chinese companies in Israel.
"The expansion of bilateral economic relations will have far-reaching macro-economic effects on the Israeli economy," National Economic Council and Israel-China Task Force Chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel said.
The year of 2014 saw "a dramatic increase" in Chinese investments in Israel, and this trend is expected to continue in 2015, he said, adding that "it led to the establishment of new Israeli companies, the creation of new industries and sectors in the local economy, the development of products for the Chinese market and the establishment of Israel's status as an enterprising and innovative force in Asian markets."
Meanwhile, Israel Export Institute Director General Ramzi Gabbay said that the Chinese market is a strategic target for Israeli exporters.
"China's need to continue upgrading its technology infrastructures offers an opportunity for Israeli companies especially in fields the Chinese government has set as development targets such as: water technologies, medical equipment and high-tech industrial equipment," said Gabbay.
China is Israel's fourth largest export target in the world and the largest in Asia.
According to data by the Israeli Export Institute, Israeli trade volume with China in 2014 was approximately $8.52 billion, a four percent year-on-year increase.