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Israeli business mogul sees great promise in commercial ties with China

02-10-2012 08:39 BJT

JERUSALEM, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Bilateral trade ties between Israel and China will significantly increase in the coming years, an Israeli business entrepreneur said Thursday.

"There is a real friendship between the two countries, but it's important not only to continue (what has been accomplished), but also to expand," Amos Yudan, president and CEO of Comodan Far East Ltd., told Chinese media at a luncheon in Jerusalem to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and China.

Widely credited with paving the way for Israeli companies to the Far East, Yudan first visited Hong Kong in 1983. Five years later, he heeded a call by the Israeli government and set up Copeco Ltd., the first Israeli company to operate in mainland China whose declared goal was to build and nurture a business dialogue between the two countries.

Since then, in his capacity as chairman of the Israel-China/ Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce, Yudan has initiated delegations to and from China, which led to the signing of numerous trade agreements.

In 1992, he founded Comodan, which specializes in transporting Israeli agro technologies to China and creating joint ventures. Topping a long list of projects are water management and drip irrigation solutions for the cotton industry, food processing, greenhouses, construction of commercial demonstration farms and post-harvesting technologies.

"In recent years, we are working in a little different direction: increasing Chinese hi-tech exports to Israel," said Yudan.

He cited NUC Tech, a company based in Beijing, as a prime example of the enormous potential vested in Chinese firms to export their know-how to Israel.

NUC Tech, which develops high-energy X-ray technology, has won a tender issued by Israeli Defense Ministry several years ago, and today its scanning machines can be found throughout the country's land border crossings and ports, where security personnel use them for checking luggage.

"That success is an indication to what can be achieved in the future," he added.

When Israel and China established diplomatic relations in 1992, trade between the two countries totaled 50 million U.S. dollars. The commercial turnover soared to a record 8 billion dollars in 2011, with some 500 Israeli enterprises currently operating in China.

"I'm thinking that there will be more activity of Chinese firms in Israel, perhaps in infrastructure projects," said Yudan.

While most of the trade agreements between Israel and China have so far involved mostly small and medium-size Israeli firms, Yudan said he believes that is changing.

"In the future, there will be a change in the overall trade. I believe Better Place (an Israeli electrical car company) will hold activity in China, which will be one of the first countries to manufacture these cars," said Yudan.

He added that real estate companies are also searching for activities in China, and there are signs that Chinese companies, which are now more open for international business, are seeking greater involvement in Israel.

Claiming to have boarded more flights on the Tel Aviv-Beijing line over the past 30 years than he could possibly recall, Yudan's briefing to Chinese correspondents concluded with somewhat of an understatement.

"Personally," he said, "I like working in China."

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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