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November 2, 2014 1:20 pm

Israel and China Strengthen Economic Ties in Tel Aviv Conference

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

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Benjamin Netanyahu with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at an official welcoming ceremony. Photo: Israel GPO.

One of Israel’s most influential business conferences, the 12th Go4Israel Conference, was held last week at the Hilton Tel Aviv, and placed particular attention on China. More than 1,000 participants took part in the conference including international and local entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders.

“The conference reflects Israel’s role in bringing the world’s Western and Eastern economies together. With an increasing presence of China in Israel’s business scene, we can help enhance global relationships between investors and entrepreneurs, mainly from Europe, China, and Israel,” said Edouard Cukierman, the chairman and founder of Cukierman & Co. Investment House, which organized the conference along with its private equity fund, Catalyst Fund.

Cukierman & Co. heads Israel’s largest investment team and has been involved for the past 20 years in raising â‚¬4 billion, much of it for Israeli startups and mature companies.

“Israel has always been the center of attraction for investors and entrepreneurs from around the world,” Cukierman added.

Hong Kong property tycoon Ronnie Chan agrees. Chan, chairman of the Hang Lung Group, received the Go4Israel achievement award at this year’s conference in honor of his contribution to strengthening the business and political relationship between China and Israel.

“Israel is at the center of the world,” Chan told Tazpit News Agency. “Geographically and historically, this region has always been at the center,” he told Tazpit.

Chan, a devout Christian, has been visiting Israel frequently over the past 36 years, and has brought many delegations of major Chinese business leaders and entrepreneurs to introduce to Israeli high-tech companies.

A featured speaker at the conference and one of the participants in the Go4China panel, Chan spoke of what initially sparked China’s interest in Israel.

“Chinese businessmen are intrigued by Israel, both Christians and atheists. The book Start-Up Nation was read widely throughout China and really did a lot for Israel,” Chan said during a panel discussion.

According to Cukierman, China has acquired $7 billion in Israeli assets in the past three years.

This year alone, the Chinese equity-investment management and financial-services company Yongjin Group Inc., has invested between $15 million and $20 million into Israel’s Pitango Venture Capital. In late August, Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. invested $10 million in venture fund Canaan Partner Israel, which is affiliated with the American-based Canaan Partners. Ping An Venture has made six investments in Israeli startups, following the creation of a $100 million fund dedicated to U.S. and Israeli tech ventures. Ping An Venture also invested in a new fund set up by Israel’s Carmel Ventures capital firm, as did Chinese Internet search engine Baidu.

“We are firm believers of combining two market places – China and Israel, together,” said Shengyan Fan, the managing partner of Catalyst CEL Fund, a joint venture between China Everbright Limited and Cuckierman, during the panel discussion. “I’m really happy to be here – I’ve been to Israel many times in the last two years and look forward to achieving mutual goals together,” she said.

Other panel discussions dealt with the place of Europe in Israel’s business agenda, opportunities and risks in the global and local real estate market, and the image of Israel abroad.

Chan related that during the Gaza war, a Chinese delegation of businessmen had visited Israel. “Even with Hamas firing rockets, not one member of the delegation wanted to leave,” said Chan. “They were too intrigued by Israel. These businessmen have become Israel’s friends for life now.”

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  • The nation of Israel is a congregation of survivors of the Jewish diaspora, a nation of survivors protected by a great political umbrella. We the diaspora of Chinese descent third to fourth generations in adopted countries where we are in the minority are discriminated against actively by the government of the majorities especially in South East Asia, having to bear the brunt of affirmative policies which put us at a disadvantage politically and economically. We strive to survive against odds stack against us with the episodic threats of violent riots and slaughter. Nanjing massacre,Japanese imperial troops slaughter of Chinese in East and South east Asia,Soekarno’s Indonesia slaughter of Chinese under the pretext of cleansing and purging communist sympathisers sanctioned and planned by the CIA, etc.
    We Chinese know our history well and we know the history of the ancient Jewish nation through its dispersion after the sacking of its first Temple,the Holocaust and birth of modern Israel with the blood and sweat of its early pioneers and fighters. Please remember the Chinese though weak and bullied by Western and Japanese imperial powers provided safe passage and shelter to hundreds of thousands holocaust refugees during World War II. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Chinese people had actually made a contribution, however small but significant to the birth of the nation Israel. The founding fathers of lsrael has vowed that never again would the nation of Israel will allow a jew to be wantonly slaughter without its death being avenged. China learns from its history and so it must empower itself to prevent being bullied or colonised again. China modernisation of its armed forces is for the self-defence of its interest and does not intend to attack or subjugate it’s neighbours as affirmed by its long history. Please remember we share many things in common both in our histories and our futures and we have high regards and admiration for your people. We wish you well. We hope you too have similar feelings towards us.
    A Chinese diaspora.

  • yaakov

    Actually the Chinese people are creative and intelligent….not accurate or nice to make it sound like they are just worker bees and we are all geniuses…we have alot of dopey lazy yidden also…this kind of attitude is what got us in trouble in the past with the goy…..Shalom

  • debbyfayga

    perfect union —–Jewish ingenuity with worker ant /worker bee mentality. The Chinese are smart and diligent yet they lack creativity, but are great imitation artists. Combined with Israeli talent it should prove to be a great partnership.

  • NCS

    Hopefully Israel is smarter than U.S. We are in deep debt to China and it is a very serious matter. The lender owns the borrower if the debt is called.

  • It is natural that these two brilliantly managed oligarchies (who don’t take crap from anyone) , should be natural allies. I would like to see Israel help China’s military (but not in a way that would compromise the U.S./Israel military relationship). Do you think Israel would sell Iron Dome to Taiwan? I don’t think so as that would really piss off China! What do you guy and gals think?

  • Kris


  • myra vero

    it’s fantastic!

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    One question: Do massive business prospects and abysmal Chinese human rights make fine bedfellows for the Jewish State of Israel, which professes to be a light among nations?

  • steven L

    Are Chines suckers? So far it looks like!