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Sino-Israeli co-op hots up
( 2003-11-18 01:05) (China Daily)

The Israel Telecommunication and IT Seminar opened in Beijing yesterday, giving a further boost to ties between the Middle Eastern nation and China's telecommunications industries.

"The seminar is a good opportunity for better business co-operation,'' said Uri Olenik, director-general of the Ministry of Communications.

He is leading a business delegation of 20 Israeli information and communication technology (ICT) companies to China for a five-day tour.

The seminar will also be held in Nanjing tomorrow and in Shanghai on Thursday.

Olenik said the two countries enjoy "great potential for bilateral trade.''

Figures from the Israel Export and International Co-operation Institute indicated that imports from China stood at US$800 million, while exports to China were US$340 million last year.

In the first nine months of 2003, imports from China reached US$741 million and exports were US$440 million. Total imports and exports for 2003 are expected to top more than US$1.5 billion.

Yair Ofek, deputy director-general of the institute, pointed out that more than two-thirds of exports to China were IT-related products such as electronic components and telecommunications equipment.

"China is the world's number one growing market (in the telecommunications sector),'' said Olenik.

Every telecommunication firm is looking toward China and wants to get a foothold there, he said.

He believed that Israeli's "great human resources'' and leading role in the field of broadband and mobile technologies will help China to further expand its telecommunications networks.

Israeli's cellular phone network covers between 95 and 96 per cent of the nation, said Olenik. The figure for fixed line telephone coverage is 97 per cent.

Israel is taking a leading role in terms of digital TV, with a penetration rate of 45 per cent, the highest in the world.

James Eun, president and general manager of IXI Mobile (Asia Pacific), a member of the Israeli delegation, said his company is in contact with China Unicom and China Mobile, discussing possible co-operation.

"Besides that, we will roll out our co-operation with other big Chinese names step-by-step, such as the Lenovo Group,'' he said on the sideline of the event.

Providing services and solutions based on its personal mobile gateway (PMG) and Sleek devices, he believed that "the market is now beginning to get ready'' given the fast development of mobile telecommunications and the fast development of IT in China.

For Israel's Runcom Technologies Ltd, its Marketing Director Oren Elkayam said yesterday that it is also looking for partners in China.

He said the company are already in discussion with Huawei Technologies and Zhongxing Telecommunications Corp over possible co-operation.

The company mainly provides broadband wireless solution, digital interactive wireless TV and beyond the third generation of wireless telecommunications market.

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