Friday, November 28, 2014

Israel’s Bennett to Lobby for Resources to Boost China Exports

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said he’ll seek a deeper commitment from the government in order to take exports to China to “a whole new level.”

Bennett said yesterday he plans to move some commercial attaches to China from other nations, and will seek greater investment in developing the trade, including increased credit for Israeli companies. He’ll also press for more ministerial visits. “We have to make a bigger and deeper commitment,”

Bennett, 42, said by phone from China where he was leading a delegation of 15 Israeli water-technology companies. “The potential is immense. We can do more and we will do more.” Israel is seeking to boost sales to economies such as China and India, which are growing faster than its traditional trading partners, the U.S. and Europe.

Exports account for about 30 percent of Israel’s gross domestic product. During the first 10 months of the year, the export of goods to China totaled $2.4 billion, a 6-percent increase from 2013, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures published this month. Total goods exports rose by about 3.8 percent in the same period.

“China clearly has the biggest market potential in terms of growth in the world, and we want to diversify,” said Bennett, who was a successful technology entrepreneur before he went into politics. “There is a lot of added value that we can specifically give China, that exists to a lesser degree in other places.” Industries with the greatest potential include water technology, including water production and conservation, agriculture and medical devices, Bennett said.

Israeli agricultural technology can help Chinese farmers in areas that lack land or water, he said. While China presents some special hurdles to Israeli exporters, such as intellectual property issues and cultural differences, it views Israel “in a very positive light,” Bennett said.

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