Dedication of the Sino-Israeli Agricultural Training Center

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry)
June 1998

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife were guests of honor at the dedication ceremonies of the new training center building at the Beijing Agricultural University. The unveiling of the new center was conducted by the Prime Minister of Israel and the Minister of Agriculture of China.

The center is one of MASHAV’s most unique and most successful projects. The new center constitutes an "expression of confidence" by the Chinese in Israeli training programs, a fact that led to the construction of a modern, luxuriously appointed building specifically designed for MASHAV courses. The courses – about 12 of which are offered each year – are taught by instructors from Israel’s Volcani Institute.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister emphasized the common history of the two peoples, which stretches back thousands of years, and their joint desire to learn and gain new knowledge. He noted that while Israel is very small as compared to China, it can still share with China the agricultural experience it has gained, along with the technology it has developed, thereby contributing to the advancement of the agricultural sector in China.

The Chinese Minister of Agriculture warmly commented on the close relations between the two countries, expressing much satisfaction with the successes of the Sino-Israeli training center ever since its establishment in 1993. The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the government of Israel for its help in staffing and equipping the training center.

MASHAV has equipped the building with an elevator, air conditioning, computers and equipment for the offices, laboratories and classrooms. The building has three large lecture halls, a display hall exhibiting innovative technologies in agriculture, a computer laboratory complete with 20 modern computers, a conference room, a laboratory, offices and exhibit space. The building also contains four residential units for visiting Israeli lecturers, and 20 residential rooms for course participants.

In cooperation with the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, two permanent exhibits of ancient coins, as well as an impressive exhibit of ancient agricultural implements, were unveiled at the dedication ceremony. The Chinese arranged matching exhibitions of ancient Chinese coins and traditional agricultural implements.

The Prime Minister’s delegation and China’s Minister of Agriculture toured the building and visited a class in progress, in the framework of a course on flower-growing taught by a MASHAV expert. The Prime Minister, who was deeply impressed, invited all the course participants to come to Israel for additional training.

Following the ceremony, and the subsequent tour of the building, the Prime Minister joined the Chinese Minister of Agriculture in planting a "friendship tree" in the magnificent gardens surrounding the new building.