(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met on Monday evening (6 May 2013), in Shanghai, with dozens of Israeli businesspeople who represent companies that operate in Shanghai in order to consider ways to increase bilateral trade. The Israeli company representatives expressed great appreciation for the Prime Minister's efforts to increase trade with China and noted the great importance of government support to doing business in China.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I represent you before the Chinese government. I want to hear from you what I need to tell them in order to help you. I know that the Chinese ascribe great importance to government backing for business and I intend to give you this backing. We must make the national effort to enter Chinese markets and to create partnerships. In addition to your private initiatives, we need to create a government track with the Chinese."
In a meeting with Israeli and Chinese businesspeople held immediately afterwards, with the participation of the Director-General of the Shanghai Municipality Foreign Affairs Department, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
"I visited here in 1998. Shanghai was an impressive city then and it is even more impressive today. I visited the Shanghai Tower and I wrote in the guestbook: Thank you for giving us a bird's-eye-view of the future. This city represents the future of China and the entire world and I believe that Israel can be part of this future.
But we do not forget the past. Jews who fled the Nazi horrors during the Holocaust found refuge in Shanghai and we will never forget it. Now, we would like to adopt the future, and the future belongs to countries that are capable of manufacturing intellectual property. Thus it is possible to add value to goods and services. Thus one ensures a high standard of living.
The future belongs to those who lead in innovation and technology. Israel is not as big as China. We have eight million residents, approximately one-third the population of Shanghai. But we manufacture more intellectual property than any other country in the world in relation to its size. If we create a partnership between Israel's inventive capability and China's manufacturing capability, we will have a winning combination. Shanghai is right for this because the balance of trade between us is even, and Shanghai is the gateway to China.
I would like to utilize this visit in order to create partnerships in all areas. I visited a technological park this morning and in every field that I saw there, there are at least 6-7 Israeli companies that could contribute. Therefore, I would like to thank you for the warm relationship in the past, for the cooperation in the present and for further cooperation in the future."
Earlier, on arriving in Shanghai, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled from the airport to an exhibition at a high-tech industrial park, where he viewed a series of innovative technological developments – inter alia, in the fields of alternative energy, urban development, the environment, aviation and space, computer networks, medicine and entertainment technology – by leading companies active in China.
Next to a wall on which were the logos of the companies operating in the high-tech park, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "We see here the logos of many of the world's leading companies. I hope that we will soon see on this wall the logos of many Israeli companies; this is the goal – to expand bilateral economic cooperation and significantly increase Israeli exports to China."