Sunday, June 5, 2016

China-Israel Lovefest Ramps Up With Joint Innovation Conference

As China upgrades its industry and eyes Israeli knowhow and innovation, Israel seeks new markets.

BY Ruth Schuster

HAREETZ - May 19, 2016

What is China looking for in Israel? The main natural resource Israel had left - the "secret" to thinking outside the box, it transpired at the Chinese-Israeli academic/business conference held in Be'er Sheva this week.  The Red Dragon has been trawling the world for decades to obtain access to commodities. In Israel, China already bought the access to the one natural resource we had, potash (by acquiring minerals miner Makteshim-Agan, renaming it Adama). Now, as forward-looking Beijing upgrades Chinese manufacturing to be smarter, it is acknowledging the importance of an intangible:  innovative talent.  China can "buy" talent outside the country by investing in startups: it recently set up its first technology fund targeting Israeli companies.  A second way is by persuading foreign companies to manufacture in China. This aspect is exemplified by the Experience Center, which will feature featuring actual products made by actual Chinese manufacturers that Internet-of-Things giant Ingdan is building in Tel Aviv to attract Israeli businesses.