As a new growth engine of the world, China is attracting more and more Israeli companies for economic opportunities, Xinhua was told on Thursday during a two- day Israel's annual Prime Minister's Conference for Export and International Cooperation.
In an interview with Xinhua during the conference started on Wednesday, Amos Yudan, Chairman of the Israel-China Chamber of Commerce, said that Israeli companies attach great importance to trade and economic exchanges with the Asian emerging economic power.
Currently, more than 800 Israeli companies have business in China, among which about 40 have set up local offices there, according to Yudan.
"I hope that in the future more and more companies from Israel will establish offices in China, because to do business in China you need to have local participation," he said.
Yudan, also the President and CEO of a private enterprise -- Comodan Far East Ltd., has been instrumental in strengthening commercial ties between China and Israel since 1983. Long before establishing diplomatic relations with China, Israeli government sent Yudan to build up and manage a company in Hong Kong with the aim of building and fostering business dialogue between the two countries.
Since Israel and China established diplomatic relations in 1992, bilateral trade and economic cooperation enjoys surprisingly high growth rate.
In areas of agriculture, telecommunication, health care, security and financing etc., Israeli companies have been playing aggressive roles and contributed to a long-term and strong trade tie with their Chinese partners.
Addressing a plenary session of the Prime Minister's Conference on Wednesday, Zhang Xiao'an, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Israel, said that the bilateral trade in the past 14 years maintained strong momentum.
"Last year, bilateral trade volume reached 3 billion U.S. dollars," said Zhang Xiao'an, who expected a 5 billion-dollar trade volume by 2008.
"Our trade volume ranks No. 1 among Israel's trade with Asian economies in 2005, and No. 6 in the world," she added.
Referring to the significance of doing business in China, Yudan believed that China's huge market and its potential for future commercial expansion is highly important.
Although most of Israeli companies are small or medium-sized, they pursue innovations and possess advanced technologies in telecommunication, medical equipment, biotechnology, agriculture and so on.
"The keypoint for these companies is the development of market. Israeli companies have a lot of hi-tech development but the market in Israel is very limited. They have to go to the international market and, no doubt about it, China is one of the biggest potential market for all these kinds of companies," Yudan said.
The two-day conference was held for business people from Israel and the rest of the world to seek cooperation opportunities, acquisitions and transactions. More than 1,000 business persons from around the globe come to Israel to attend the conference.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and other ministers attended the conference.