Israel to host “Innovation: China-Israel Investment Summit” in September

Israel will host the “Innovation: China-Israel Investment Summit” in September of this year, the binational, joint-conference created in collaboration between Israel and China’s Ministries of Economy. Investors and business-to-business players in the fields of technology, innovation and investment will attend the two-day summit, with an over 1,000 Chinese investors and strategic players are to attend as well as over 500 Israeli hi-tech companies. The Summit will boost collaborative projects between Israel and China as well as increase economic cooperation and investment between both countries.

The Summit was created by Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry together with the Chinese Infinity Equity Group following the success of January’s “China-Israel Technology, Innovation & Investment Summit” held in Beijing.

Israel’s Chief Executive of the Foreign Investments and Industrial Cooperation Authority at the Ministry of Economy Ziva Eger referred to China as “a strategic target market of the Ministry of Economy in Israel and of the [Foreign Investments and Industrial Cooperation] Authority,” describing “Israel and its innovative industry is a target for Chinese investments.” He stated on the future of Israeli venture capital funds and Chinese investment that “I expect that the vast majority of the Israeli venture capital funds which will raise capital in 2016 will include at least one Chinese investor. The significant interest of Chinese companies and investors and the large resources they have are an opportunity for Israeli companies. This fact particularly refers to sectors which include elements of advanced manufacturing, where Israel has a lot to offer, while in China, these capabilities are part of the recent five year plan of the Chinese government.”

In February of 2016, over $200 million was invested in the Catalyst CEL Fund, the first ever Israel-China private equity fund. The Fund is a partnership between Israel’s mutli-fund firm Catalyst Private Equity and China’s Everbright Limited. In April of 2014, the first investment with Catalyst was made, with over 150 corporate leaders and 85 Israeli startups and hi-tech companies meeting during January’s China-Israel Technology, Innovation & Investment Summit in Beijing.

In April of this year, China and Israel signed an agreement to create a joint-center for innovation and entrepreneurship between Israel’s Ben Gurion University and China’s Jilin University. The agreement is meant to increase academic collaboration as well as increase and support joint projects and cooperation between both institutions.

The establishment of the center came just a few days after China and Israel announced the opening of talks on a free trade deal. The trade deal would “see commerce double between the two countries” if successful. In a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong who visited Israel as part of the Chinese delegation, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated on the announcement “China is prepared to being free trade agreement negotiations with Israel. This is a momentous development and we are ready to do so right away.”

Just two months after the joint-center’s creation, Ben Gurion University of the Negev hosted the Third Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Conference on Monday that included a Chinese delegation of 130 from the academic, business and government sectors. It was Israel’s first participation in the conference, the theme of the conference “Entrepreneurship and Innovation, China-Israel – Challenges and Opportunities”. The event was created in order to “strengthening academic connections, and provide opportunities for meetings between industry professionals, academic researchers, senior executives, entrepreneurs and investors from the Jilin province and their Israeli peers”.

The Innovation: China-Israel Investment Summit is to be held in Tel Aviv on September 24, conference organizers confirming over 40 investors from Chinese funds participation.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, June 10, 2016, and reposted with permission.