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Looking for investment, Israeli officials visit Beijing

05-12-2010 10:14 BJT

BEIJING, May 12 -- Top Israeli officials said Tuesday at a press conference in Beijing that the country will seek greater investment from Chinese firms in its hi-tech sector as European markets falter.

Israel was admitted to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Monday, and is taking aim at China's large foreign exchange reserves to boost its hi-tech industry.

"We want to promote our cooperation not just on the imports and exports, but on a much deeper level between two economies," said Israeli finance minister Yuval Steinitz.

Israel's trade values with China dropped 17 percent to $4.56 billion in 2009 from the previous year, according to figures from Israel's Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

"Israel's hi-technology is famous in sectors such as semiconductor design, telecommunications, solar energy and irrigation systems, and we want to make sure Chinese financial institutions and others are familiar with the potential cooperation between Israel and China," said Haim Shani, director general of Israel's Finance Ministry.

The Israeli delegation met senior managers in major Chinese banks and financial institutions including China Development Bank, China Investment Corporation and CITIC Group. "We encourage more Chinese financial institutions to invest in Israel's hi-tech market," Steinitz said, without specifying details.

Shenzhen-listed Zhejiang Sanhua signed an agreement in January to invest $10.5 million in Israel's solar thermal systems developer HelioFocus, marking the first direct investment by a Chinese company in an Israeli one.

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing is also keen on investing in Israeli technology companies specializing in oil sands and water technologies, Steinitz said last week after a visit to Hong Kong.

China has long had a strong demand for hi-tech products. China's commerce minister, Chen Deming, said in March the best way for the US to increase its exports to China would be to relax restrictions on hi-technology and dual-use goods exports to China, according to The Washington Post.

Steinitz told the Global Times there is no obstacle from the US for Israel's cooperation with China in the civilian technology field. "I was not speaking about the military technology, but I don't see any objections on our cooperation on the civilian part," he said.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: Global Times

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