Spotlight: Chinese enterprises in Israel creat association to seek better ties, further cooperation
Economic and innovative cooperations are "two pillars for the friendly and practical relations between China and Israel," said Zhan.
JERUSALEM, April 21 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese enterprises in Israel have formed an association, with the aim of providing a platform for them to seek further development in Israel and play an active role in boosting the bilateral ties.
The CEAI will work as a "new wing" for the China-Israel cooperation and is expected to push forward the development of the bilateral economic and trade ties, added Wu.
He noted that China has become Israel's largest trade partner in Asia, and the third largest partner around the world. The two sides have concluded the third round of negotiations on the establishment of the China-Israel free trade zone and are now preparing for the next round.
The association, named Chinese Enterprises Association in Israel (CEAI), was officially established Friday at a ceremony held in Tel Aviv.
It was created against the backdrop of the fast growth of the China-Israel ties since the establishment of the innovative comprehensive partnership in March 2017.
So far, over 60 Chinese enterprises are already operating in Israel mainly in the sectors of infrastructure, trade and investment, and labor cooperation, which have created around 10,000 jobs for Israel, said Wu Bin, counsellor of the economic and commercial counsellor's office in the Chinese embassy.
Efforts will be made to build the CEAI into a platform to help Chinese companies to seize the opportunities for mutual development under the Belt and Road Initiative, said George Guan, the first president of CEAI and now also working as the managing director of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation's Israel Branch.
Great hope is pinned on the CEAI to promote the China-Israel free trade zone, to increase investment by Chinese companies, and enhance personnel, economic and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
China and Israel have also become increasingly important cooperation partners in the innovation sector. China has a huge in market and is a leading manufacturer, while Israel is one of the leading nations in innovation. Chinese IT giants, such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, have already made investment in Israel to conduct the research and development.
The bilateral China-Israel trade volume exceeded 13 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up 15.6 percent from a year ago, according to figures issued by the Chinese embassy.
by Chen Wenxian, Du Zhen
So far, the bilateral cooperation has been focused in the fields of infrastructure, investment, hi-tech and green agriculture, while great achievements have already been made, the Chinese envoy added.
The establishment of the CEAI is a milestone event presenting "the deep and fruitful economic and trade cooperation" between China and Israel, Chinese Ambassador to Israel Zhan Yongxin told the ceremony at the Chinese Cultural Center in Tel Aviv.
Ambassador Zhan told Xinhua that the CEAI's founding is the result of the fast development of the China-Israel ties and will help Chinese enterprises to seek further and better development in Israel.
Investment made by Chinese companies in Israel has totaled more than 6.5 billion dollars and is expected to further expand in the coming years.
Guan told Xinhua that the CEAI will play an active role in ensuring the interest of Chinese enterprises in Israel, supervising their operations, fulfilling their social responsibility for local communities, and boosting the bilateral economic and trade cooperation.