During talks in Jerusalem on March 29 between Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, China and Israel formally agreed to start negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
Last year, China and Israel successfully completed a feasibility study on the FTA, after exploratory talks had begun in 2013.
Netanyahu noted that China is now Israel’s third-largest trading partner, with total annual trade of USD11.4bn in 2015, and that there is “the potential for a lot more.” It has been suggested that an FTA could double trade between the two countries.
China’s total investment in Israel has reached USD6bn. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told Liu during their meeting on March 29 that his country hopes to further strengthen cooperation in fields such as science, technology, innovation, and agriculture.