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May 30, 2014 10:28 am

Israel Economy Minister Bennett: ‘We Are Shifting Our Economic Resources to Bangalore, Africa and China, China, China’

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett told a technology conference in Tel Aviv last week that “Israel is going east,” with the government announcing a 10-day roadshow in China in November to feature life-sciences companies, according to Bloomberg News on Thursday.

Bennett said, “We are shifting our economic resources to Bangalore, Africa and China, China, China.”

Bloomberg News noted that the conference organizers in Tel Aviv were handing out mock boarding passes to Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou:

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“The gimmick highlighted Israel’s expanded focus on trade, particularly in technology, with the world’s most populous country,” Bloomberg News reported. “Some 350 Chinese businessmen and government officials convened at the event to meet with Israeli tech entrepreneurs and scientists.”

The business news agency offered a round-up of recent Israel-China deals, including China’s Bright Food Group agreeing to acquire Israel’s largest dairy, Tnuva Food Industries, for an estimated $1 billion, and the Israeli government’s plan to double exports to China over the next five years to $5 billion annually. Tel Aviv University and Beijing’s Tsinghua University also established the XIN Center for nanotechnology research.

“China is Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia, and looking ahead, it seems it will soon become Israel’s largest trade partner in general,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, earlier this month. “We admire China and are confident that Israel has made a contribution in these connections. One of these areas is innovation.”

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