The ministerial committee on China affairs has approved a comprehensive action plan for advancing and expanding bilateral economic ties in order to double – within five years – Israeli exports to China, to approximately NIS 5 billion per annum.
The committee appointed National Economic Council Chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel to head the task force on the issue, which was established after Prime Minister Netanyahu’s May 2013 visit to China. The task force is coordinating the government effort on the issue and works directly with its Chinese government counterpart. Prof. Kandel is also due to chair the inter-ministerial steering committee that will coordinate government assistance to strengthen bilateral economic ties. The committee will be composed of professional representatives from the Foreign, Finance and Economy ministries.
The aforesaid plan includes government recognition for wide-ranging business projects that will be implemented with Chinese bodies in the fields of – inter alia – knowledge-intensive industries, agriculture, environment protection, energy, water technology and health. The working groups that will be established in each field will work with their Chinese counterparts and will advance Israeli companies’ capabilities in China as well as the possibility of mutual investments.
The plan also includes opening a designated operations center in China. The Economy Ministry will also open a new economic office in China and will consider a new policy regarding the issuing of entry visas to make it easier for Chinese business people, tourists and academics to come to Israel.
Since Prime Minister Netanyahu’s May 2013 visit to China, several senior Chinese government officials have come to Israel including Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Many commercial delegations have also visited Israel, including from Fosun, as well as a delegation of 15 mayors and provincial officials.
Israeli commercial exports to China have grown by 180% in recent years, from $878 million in 2009 to $2.47 billion in 2013. The export of tourist services to China has more than doubled, from $30 million in 2009 to $65 million in 2013.