In its endless quest for resources and technology, the world’s largest nation is increasingly looking at one of the world’s smallest. Twenty-five years ago, trade between China and Israel stood at $50 million. Today, that figure has reached $11 billion.
As its economy continues to modernize and expand, China is taking its global economic rivals head-on. With an eye toward the future and the latest and greatest in tech, China thinks Israel is a smart bet to find a leg up. So much so that China has become an integral part of the tech boom in Israel.
According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, China accounts for about one-third of investments in Israeli high-tech companies. The IVC Research Center in Tel Aviv estimates that Chinese investments in Israel will approach $500 million in 2017, and is growing by 50 percent annually.
Chinese investments in Israeli companies range from coding platforms and video technology, to automotive tech and agriculture. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has become one of China’s biggest cheerleaders, as he “pivots” Israel toward Asia. During Netanyahu’s state visit to China last month, Israel and China signed a number of bilateral agreements to cooperate on issues like air pollution, water conservation and high-technology, all priority issues for both nations.
Netanyahu was joined on his mission to China by Ofir Akunis, Israel’s Science and Technology Minister and Eli Cohen, Israel’s Economy and Industry Minister, both of whom will be sharing their views on the future of Israeli industry and technology at The Jerusalem Post’s 6th Annual Conference in New York City on May 7.
“Our technology is amazing and greatly admired all around the world,” Akunis has said. This is certainly true in China, where Israel is synonymous with innovation, according to Alexander Pevzner, founding director of the Chinese Media Center at the College of Management Academic Studies. Pevzner says, “China needs technology and innovation and Israel is willing to give it to them.”
With unrelenting economic pressures on Israel stemming from the global BDS movement, China is creating thousands of jobs in Israel, and giving Israeli innovation a powerful outlet for global development. Like the smaller animal in a symbiotic relationship found in nature, the new Israel – China partnership provides Israel with a vibrant economic ecosystem.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR Agency.
By: Ronn Torossian