Shanghai, Is­rael sign MOU on sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS - Yao Minji

SHANGHAI and Is­rael yes­ter­day signed a mem­o­ran­dum of understanding on co­op­er­a­tion in the field of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy.

The two coun­tries also vowed to pur­sue col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween en­ter­prises and es­tab­lish a China-Is­rael in­no­va­tion park in the city.

The MOU was signed by Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong and Is­raeli Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Ofir Aku­nis, who is in Shanghai for the first China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo.

Ying said Shanghai will en­hance col­lab­o­ra­tion on sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy with Is­rael, and make the in­no­va­tion park a model site for such part­ner­ship for a win-win de­vel­op­ment.

The MOU fo­cuses on ar­eas like life sci­ence, es­pe­cially brain sci­ence, agri­cul­tural tech­nol­ogy, en­ergy and en­vi­ron­ment, among other sec­tors.

Joint re­search labs are also be­ing dis­cussed as part of the understanding. The col­lab­o­ra­tion matches Shanghai’s goal of be­com­ing a global cra­dle for new aca­demic ideas, sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies, tech­ni­cal in­ven­tions and in­dus­trial ad­vances.

“It has been a huge change, like the changed re­la­tions be­tween China and Is­rael,” Aku­nis told Shanghai Daily.

“It is a huge and very pos­i­tive change. Twenty-six years af­ter we signed the first agree­ment on diplo­matic re­la­tions, I can say now we are in the peak of all times,” Aku­nis said.

Is­rael, a “start-up na­tion” known for its in­no­va­tion, has pre­pared for the CIIE for al­most a year. About 10 com­pa­nies have at­tended the first-ever im­port ex­po­si­tion, fea­tur­ing the theme of “in­no­va­tion.”

Its food-pro­cess­ing com­pany Tnuva will bring chefs to cook Jewish food such as Mediter­ranean hum­mus with yo­gurt sauce at the expo.

The com­pany made top news in 2014 when Shanghai-based Bright Food took a con­trol­ling stake in the sec­ond-largest ac­qui­si­tion deal be­tween China and Is­rael at the time.

Six com­pa­nies from the Is­rael Di­a­mond Ex­change will ex­hibit their shin­ing prod­ucts, as half of the world’s di­a­monds are pro­cessed in Is­rael. The ex­change, the largest di­a­mond trad­ing com­plex in the world, re­cently struck a deal with China’s e-com­merce giant Alibaba to make loose stones avail­able as di­rect sales to Chi­nese con­sumers on Ali Auc­tion, its lux­ury plat­form.

Metal cut­ting tools maker Is­car, which es­tab­lished its China branch in 1998, now has China as its third-largest mar­ket.

“There are a lot of Is­raeli com­pa­nies here, which re­flect the good con­nec­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, and also a re­flec­tion of the free mar­ket,” said Aku­nis.

“The in­spi­ra­tion for good trade be­tween China and Is­rael is also re­flected in the in­creas­ing num­ber of trade — US$11 bil­lion — and it is only the be­gin­ning.”

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