Naftali Bennett in China
Naftali Bennett in China Jewish Home spokesperson

The city of Shaoguan, in the Guangdong Province in southeastern China, has been chosen as the pilot city for Israel's flagship "Water City" project.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, currently on an official visit in China, signed the Water City agreement with Chinese officials on Wednesday. He explained the project briefly on his Facebook page: "The goal is to create a model city and use it to continue to promote Israeli companies in China."

The project is geared to help the Chinese deal with their acute water problems, which include pollution, dwindling supply for the growing population, and sewage issues.

Bennett noted that China is funding the project. "Dozens of Israeli technology companies jumped all over the city's water sector," he wrote, in the areas of "production, conservation, measurement, recycling and more."

"We arranged for each Israeli company dozens of business meetings with potential Chinese customers," Bennett wrote, "and throughout this trip business deals have been sealed."

The Israeli companies will establish systems for desalination, sewage treatment, diversion of water for agriculture, and more.

Israeli-Chinese trade relations are growing impressively, expected to reach around $12.5 billion for the year 2014. 

Bennett used his page to invite additional Israeli companies in any field that "want to break into China’s market or Asia in general, to contact our Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy."

He explained that when he first became Economy Minister, "I was told how the economic attaches could help entrepreneurs break into new markets. I didn’t buy it. I couldn’t believe that a government institution could actually benefit the private business sector. As a former private sector CEO, I never once thought of asking the government for help. I was wrong. Apparently, when it comes to complex markets, such as China and India, the government really can help - and we are doing so successfully."

Bennett's latest Facebook post ended on a patriotic note: "This morning we launched in the Fujian province, in southern China, a new model agricultural farm of the Ministry of Economy. It is amazing to watch how you can produce [using Israeli technology] five times the amount, from the same quantity of water and soil. I miss our amazing country and our wonderful people so much. There is nothing like Israel."

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