Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged to find ways to increase bilateral trade with China. Netanyahu met on Monday in Shanghai with dozens of Israeli businesspeople who represent companies that operate in Shanghai to discuss ideas on developing increased business ties with China.
Speaking to the business audience, 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."
Netanyahu later attended a meeting with Israeli and Chinese businesspeople, with the participation of the Director-General of the Shanghai Municipality Foreign Affairs Department, Netanyahu said that he had visited Shanghai last in 1998. “It 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,” Netanyahu continued. “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, and ensure a high standard of living. The future belongs to those who lead in innovation and technology.
“Israel is not as big as China,” Netanyahu said. “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,” he added.