Photo taken on May 23, 2023 shows Ami Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, during an interview. (Xinhua/Chen Junqing)
by Xinhua writer Wang Zhuolun
JERUSALEM, May 25 (Xinhua) -- With China's impressive achievements in science and technology, more fruits are expected to be borne through innovation-driven cooperation between Israel and China, Ami Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"I have been interacting with people from various levels in China, covering business, engineering, manufacturing and customers. We learned to respect, to appreciate and to look forward to more collaborations," Appelbaum told Xinhua on the sidelines of the EcoMotion, an Israeli exhibition focusing on smart mobility that concluded on Wednesday.
The three-day exhibition gathered 3,600 representatives and 110 startups from 55 countries around the world and showcased numerous cutting-edge technologies related to the mobility industry.
Electric vehicles are particularly highlighted at this year's EcoMotion after their booming sales in Israel in the past year. Many exhibitors praised China's leading position and "fast" progress in the field.
Chinese brands captured 66 percent of electric car sales in Israel during the first four months of 2023, while the best-selling models in the period and the whole year of 2022 were also from China, according to data released by the Israel Vehicle Importers Association in early May.
Photo taken on May 23, 2023 shows a man testing a remote driving system at EcoMotion, an Israeli exhibition focusing on smart mobility. (Xinhua/Chen Junqing)
"It is the good performance of Chinese electric vehicles that attracts Israeli consumers, so the Chinese models are having an increasing influence in the Israeli market," said Appelbaum, also the chief innovation scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology.
He noted that both the Israeli and Chinese governments attach great importance to environmental protection issues and are vigorously promoting clean energy.
In the past two decades, Appelbaum, who has visited China more than a dozen times, witnessed the strong momentum of cooperation in various fields between the two countries.
He explained that the Israel Innovation Authority has been driving scientific and technological cooperation with China from three dimensions: Israeli tech companies are encouraged to expand business into the Chinese market, core Israeli technologies are being introduced into China for mass production, and Chinese investments are welcome to help Israeli companies to develop.
"In my experience with China, engineers and scientists that I worked with in my career are very highly educated with state-of-the-art technology," Appelbaum noted.
According to data released by Israel Innovation Authority in 2022, Israel's high-tech exports accounted for 54 percent of its total exports in 2021, serving as the main engine of the country's economic growth.
China is Israel's largest trading partner in Asia and the second largest in the world, and also the largest source of Israel's imported goods. According to China's General Administration of Customs, the volume of bilateral trade between China and Israel totalled 25.45 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, registering an increase of 11.6 percent year on year.