Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi), who is on a visit to China to promote trade relations, had some tips for Israelis who wish to do business with the Chinese.
In a video message he recorded from Shanghai on Wednesday, Bennett not only said his visit has been very successful, but also noted that the Chinese are not interested in the Israeli-Arab conflict or other goings on in the Middle East. All the Chinese are interested in, he said, is Israeli innovation and how they can make use of it.
“In all the 20 meetings we held, not once were we asked about the Arabs, or about the Palestinians, or about any occupation or anything else,” said Bennett. "All they care about is Israeli high-tech, Israeli innovations, how we can bring these technologies here. We met ministers and CEOs of companies and the heads of the state. So the main insight is that Israel needs to lead its economic diplomacy, not constantly deal with the political issues, where we don’t always have an answer, but lead through the economy.”
Bennett had three tips for Israelis who want to venture into business with the Chinese: Make sure that the investment is a long-term one and not a quick buck; take advantage of the Israeli Economy Ministry, the commercial attaché in China and the Israeli embassy when making business in China; and find a Chinese partner.
“There are 1.3 billion people here who need to eat and need to live, and there’s a huge market,” he said. “The difficulties are also great, so if you’re not planning on keeping your business here for many years, there’s no point in coming to China. If you’re looking to make a quick buck or one deal and that’s it, there’s no point. One needs to invest here over many years and build relationships.”