CRI在线收听:Israel expects cooperation in new areas with China: experts

In recent years, China and Israel have seen significant growth in economic cooperation.

Statistics show China is now Israel's third-largest trade partner worldwide and its largest partner in Asia, with total trade surpassing 11 billion US dollars in 2016.

Negotiations are underway aiming to reach a free-trade agreement that will further boost these numbers.

Israeli Embassy spokeswoman Efrat Perri says she is looking forward to deepened bilateral cooperation in some new areas, with technology being the priority.

"When I say technologies, it can touch many different fields, so it's either agricultural technologies, or medical devices which can also be connected to technologies. Even from an education point of view, or cultural point of view. I think this is we Israel as nation excel. In technology, I believe that we'll see a greater shift and increase than the past three years."

Founding director of the Chinese Media Center at Israel College of Applied Science, Alexander B. Pevzner, says Israeli companies can not only work with Chinese counterparts in entering the Chinese market, but also draw on their experience in exploring the global market.

He adds, tourism is now the fastest growing area of the bilateral ties.

"Last year, almost 80,000 Chinese tourists came to Israel, the number almost doubled in two years. From last November, both countries agreed to implement a ten-year multiple entry visa. And another reason is more flights. Hainan Airline has started direct flight from Israel to Beijing. And I also know the Israeli Minister of tourism is working with China to start a direct flight to Shanghai. It's very realistic to expect even 200,000 Chinese tourists to Israel by the end of 2018."

The new visa also allows travelers to stay for up to 90 days per visit.

Pevzner says the One Belt One Road initiative proposed by China can also benefit Israel.

"I think it creates fantastic opportunities, because basically the One Belt One Road initiative wants to connect Asia and Europe in trade and exchanges. Something which is very common in Europe, as we have the European Union. But in Asia is less common. I think this is an opportunity not only can bring economic development to areas that are underdeveloped. I think it's also an opportunity that brings countries together, countries still have another opportunity to actually communicate with each other, and perhaps to improve the political ties."

He says with more comprehensive bilateral ties, both sides can make progress in overcoming challenges such as geographical distance, cultural differences and language barriers.