Earlier this year, China and Israel agreed to enter negotiations over the establishment of a free-trade zone.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted saying,
China is Israel’s third-biggest trading partner and I believe there is great potential. China agreeing to start negotiations over a free-trade agreement is a significant statement and we’re ready to start immediately.
The Chinese are hoping that Israeli entrepreneurs will undertake projects in China. As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, this aligns with the fact that China is trying to break out of its reputation for producing inexpensive goods, and is trying to break into innovation across all verticals. These verticals include mobile technology, edtech, fintech, infrastructure, telecommunications, nuclear technology, and more.
Israel is known to be the hub of innovation, which attracts China. China has the ultimate business ecosystem set in place with one of the largest markets in the world, which certainly tickles the fancy of Israeli entrepreneurs. It’s a tremendous achievement for Israeli diplomacy to sign a 10-year multiple entry visa agreement, especially considering the USA and Canada are the only other countries to have done so.
This deal allows Israeli businesspeople (and tourists) to “enter China multiple times with the same visa, which will be valid for a decade. The same will apply for Chinese citizens visiting Israel, an arrangement which Jerusalem hopes will help increase tourism.”
Within less than three years, it is expected that the number of Chinese citizens visiting Israel each year will jump from 30,000, to 100,000. From the looks of things so far, it looks like it just might happen sooner than expected.