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Published: Wed, March 22, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Netanyahu Asks Xi to Exempt Israel From Investment Restrictions

Netanyahu Asks Xi to Exempt Israel From Investment Restrictions

While in China, Netanyahu will hold meetings with President Xi Jiping and Premier Li Keqiang, as well as top business leaders.

Netanyahu's trip comes just days after China hosted Saudi Arabia's King Salman and signed deals worth as much as $65 billion with Riyadh.The Middle East, however, is fraught with risk for China, a country that has little experience navigating the religious and political tensions that frequently rack the region.China also has close ties with Iran, whose nuclear programme has seriously alarmed Israel. According to the Economy Ministry, 40 percent of funds raised by Israeli venture capital firms came from Chinese backers.

"China appreciates Israel's continuing to take the "two state proposal" as the basis for handling the Israel-Palestine issue", he added.Peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine would be good for both parties and the region and is what the global community favours, Xi said.

Liu said she had visited Israel twice and was "deeply impressed" by its culture of innovation. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel in the summer, underpinning the Asia trend.

Netanyahu said Israel is ready to strengthen cooperation in innovation with China in the areas of smart vehicles, modern medical care, clean energy, telecommunications, marine fisheries, and agriculture and water conservation.

Netanyahu is greeted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

"The place (Netanyahu) can make a significant contribution is opening the door to more trade, moving forward to free trade, and making a clear message we want Chinese investment", he said.

Before taking off from Israel, Netanyahu told reporters on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport, "Israel is a very sought-after nation, as you can tell from my recent visits to Washington, Moscow and many other countries, and now China".

Israel's former ambassador to Beijing Matan Vilnai said China's interests in Israel were nearly purely economic.

"We are your ideal junior partner for that effort", he said, adding that the governments would sign a series of agreements.

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