Israel Chamber of Commerce in China opens Shanghai chapter

By Louise Ho Source:Global Times Published: 2016/12/8 18:23:39

Israel Chamber of Commerce in China (IsCham) recently opened a new Shanghai Branch as business and cultural exchanges between China and Israel are ever-increasing.

"China and Israel, the most ancient civilizations in the world, two nations with the same vision; two nations with the same values; two nations with the same abilities to bring to the world innovation and new technologies in all aspects," Amikam Levy, Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, said in a speech at the launch event in Shanghai (pictured below left).

There are many economic success stories between China and Israel, with economic activities between China and Israel considered a priority for the Israeli government, he noted. "The future belongs to countries like China and Israel. China is, in economy, a superpower in the world, while Israel is a start-up station. This is a win-win situation," he said.

IsCham is a nonprofit organization established to represent and assist the Israeli business community in developing commercial relations between China, Israel and the Jewish world. IsCham strives to promote Israeli businesses in China and to serve Israeli companies and individuals in China.

Increasing the relationship

IsCham was launched in August 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, by former Israeli president Shimon Peres. IsCham Chairman Yuval Ben-Sadeh (pictured below second from right) said that the Israel Chamber of Commerce in China is among the biggest commercial business community in China, with many activities among Chinese and Israeli companies.

"Our goal is to make the chamber a home for all the people who want to know Israel, to all Israeli who want to know China, to all the people who want to cooperate about culture, business, tourism and to meet friends," he said.

Sinai Nissenboim is manager of the new Shanghai Branch (pictured below middle), who hosted the launch event in both Chinese and English.

Meirav Shacked, IsCham General Manager (pictured below second from left), explained at the event why the chamber opened a chapter in Shanghai. "The first time I arrived in Shanghai three years ago, there was already a high demand to open a new branch of IsCham. Many people in the Israeli community asked me personally to execute and start our activity in Shanghai."

We are here today to increase the relationship between the two countries; the interest of China in Israel is increasing over the years, she said. "We believe that opening a chamber of commerce in Shanghai is an important step to supporting this interest."

10-year visas

Chinese tourism to Israel is on the rise in recent years. Consul General Levy said the entry of Chinese people to Israel increased from 58,000 in 2014 to about 70,000 last year. Next year they expect to see more than 100,000 Chinese visiting Israel as tourists or businessmen, he said.

A 10-year visa arrangement between China and Israel will further promote Israel tourism to Chinese tourists. Israel is the third country after the US and Canada to offer Chinese people visas for 10 years.

The 10-year multiple-entry visa follows the signing of a bilateral agreement between China and Israel, which allows Chinese citizens to visit Israel, as well as Israeli businessmen and tourists to visit China, according to a report by The Times of Israel in March.

Hainan Airlines has started offering direct flights from Beijing to Israeli capital Tel Aviv for three flights a week. It is the first Chinese airline that operates direct flights to Israel.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the launch event of IsCham's Shanghai Branch Photos: Louise Ho/GT

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the launch event of IsCham's Shanghai Branch

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the launch event of IsCham's Shanghai Branch Photos: Louise Ho/GT

Photos: Louise Ho/GT

Newspaper headline: A home away from home


blog comments powered by Disqus