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Innovative Israeli enterprises seeking stronger ties in China

By Chen Hong | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-01 10:59
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Zhu Wei (fifth from left, standing), mayor of Foshan, and Israeli Ambassador to China Zvi Heifetz (sixth from left, standing) witness the signing of a strategic memorandum of cooperation between the Foshan National High-tech Industrial Development Zone and Israeli Cukierman & Co Investment House. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Innovative companies from Israel displayed their passion in forging partnerships with Chinese companies, and entering its emerging market, at the 19th GoforIsrael conference held on Thursday in Foshan, South China's Guangdong province.

"More than 100 companies from Israel took part in the conference this year," said Edouard Cukierman, managing partner of Catalyst Fund, a leading Israeli private equity fund that co-launched the conference with Cukierman& Co Investment House about 20 years ago. "They are looking for strategic partners in China." The companies are in various sectors, including biotechnology, telecommunications, media and technology, financial technology, life science and agricultural technology, according to Cukierman.

As one of Israel's most influential international investment forums, GoforIsrael addresses issues in fundraising and establishes strategic alliances globally among Israeli companies and financial institutions.

With the Foshan government joining as a new host this year, the conference was held in the Chinese manufacturing hub for the first time, focusing on China-Israel cross-border investment.

Two "elevator pitches" were arranged during the conference, which allowed 22 company executives from Israel to explain their ideas for innovation, edges in technology or market advantages in fewer than three minutes each to investors and potential partners.

An Israeli biomedical company is working on a mini nerve stimulation device that could be implanted into the human body to reduce the workload of the left ventricle in the heart, so that its efficiency could be improved and help to reduce heart failure as a result.

Other companies' research includes a new treatment for diabetes, scar tissue remodeling, evaluation of new medicine for cancers and medical equipment innovation.

In the field of telecommunications, media and technology, another investment hot spot, the Israeli companies demonstrated their innovation in new applications of clean energy, biodegradable and transparent thin-film materials, and consistent energy solutions for electric public transportation.

The conference also provided time for companies from Israel and China to meet one-on-one for better exchanges and discussions.

Nadav Cohen, consul-general of Israel in Guangzhou, advised investors and company executives of the two countries to be patient before signing any agreements and to spend a generous amount of time finding the right people for cooperation in the early stages.

He also mentioned the key role that Foshan plays in China's Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area that will combine nine cities in Guangdong province with Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions in order to create the largest technological hub in the world.

Zhu Wei, mayor of Foshan, said the city has become a honey pot for investment and entrepreneurial endeavors, attracting great interest from all around the world.

"We have a strong industrial base, efficient administrative services, and an open and permissive metropolitan culture," the mayor said. "Foshan will continue to fine-tune its entrepreneurial environment."

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