This Industrial Chinese City Is Looking To Israel To Help Transform Into An Innovation Hub
This article was re-published with permission from NoCamels.com – Israeli Innovation News
Israel and China have long had the makings of a strong rapport. Since diplomatic relations were established in 1992, China has become Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia and the third-largest in the world, with mutual trade estimated at $11 billion as of 2016, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Ties also extend into academia, cultural programs and exchanges, and tourism, but Sino-Israeli business activity has been buzzing over the past decade as China’s interest in the startup nation’s technological know-how and innovation ecosystem has grown, and as Israeli entrepreneurs increasingly eye the huge potential in Chinese markets.
Relations are set to deepen further as China undertakes its “Belt And Road Initiative,” an ambitious project unveiled in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jin-Ping to expand land and sea trade routes across Asia to the Middle East and Europe through massive infrastructure investment. Israel is of strategic importance in the initiative as a stable, advanced economy in the Middle East seeking to boost its trade potential on a global scale. Chinese companies are already invested in Israel’s infrastructure sector, with one, China Harbor, building a new port in Ashdod, and the Shanghai International Port Group winning a tender to operate a new port in Haifa for the next 25 years.
Meanwhile, Chinese strategic investments in Israeli startups developing breakthrough tech capabilities have risen steadily, reaching $600 million in 2017, up significantly from $500 million just two years ago according to a February report by the Israel-based IVC Research Center, and Chinese multinationals have been setting up shop in the “Start-Up Nation,” including telecommunications giant Huawei which launched a local R&D center .
Amid the escalating trade conflict between the US and China, Israel has been very receptive to these investments given its lack of a significant domestic market and its view of Chinese companies as potential partners.
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