Closer Israel-China cooperation in civilian trade

A delegation of 30 representatives from 20 Israeli agrotechnology and high-tech companies visited Guangdong last week.

Chinese communications equipment giants are showing great interest in Israeli companies, says the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor foreign trade administration. Since Minister of Industry Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert lead a business delegation to China in June, cooperation in communications and agriculture with the province of Guangdong has gotten closer.

The mayor of Shenzhen is scheduled to visit Israel in June 2005 at the head of a business delegation, in order to pursue ways to cooperate with Israeli companies.

A delegation of 30 representatives from 20 Israeli agrotechnology and high-tech companies visited Guangdong, in southern China, last week. Israel's Ambassador to China Dr. Yehoyada Haim led the delegation, which met senior privincial officials and held seminars attended by 250 Chinese businesspeople. Participating companies included Alvarion (Nasdaq:ALVR; TASE:ALVR), ECI telecom (Nasdaq:ECIL), Gilat Satellite Networks (Nasdaq: GILTF; TASE:GILTF), Plastro Irrigation Systems (TASE:PLSTR) (which announced a contract for the sale of $3 million of irrigation systems to China last week), RAD Data Communications, Netafim, Scopus Network Technologies, Mer Telemanagement Solutions (Nasdaq:MTSL), Tadiran, and UDI.

The representatives met managers from major Guangdong communications providers, including Satcom, CNC, Guangdong Telecom, and Tietong, as well as leading Chinese communications equipment makers Huawei and ZTE.

Guangdong borders Hong Kong. The provincial GDP is about the same as Israel's. It has China's highest GDP per capita, along with Beijing and Shanghai, and is a center of attraction for telecommunications investment.

Israel-Chinese trade totaled $1.53 billion in January-September. Exports, including diamonds, totaled $537 million, up 34%, and imports totaled $998 million, up 38%. The accelerating trade with China is attributable to China's 9.5% growth rate in January-September 2004, and 9% average growth rate over the past five years. Foreign investment in China totaled $53 billion in 2003, more than in the US.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on December 20, 2004

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