One of Israel’s most influential business conferences, the 12th Go4Israel Conference, was held last week at the Hilton Tel Aviv, and placed particular attention on China. More than 1,000 participants took part in the conference including international and local entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders.
“The conference reflects Israel’s role in bringing the world’s Western and Eastern economies together. With an increasing presence of China in Israel’s business scene, we can help enhance global relationships between investors and entrepreneurs, mainly from Europe, China, and Israel,” said Edouard Cukierman, the chairman and founder of Cukierman & Co. Investment House, which organized the conference along with its private equity fund, Catalyst Fund.
Cukierman & Co. heads Israel’s largest investment team and has been involved for the past 20 years in raising €4 billion, much of it for Israeli startups and mature companies.
“Israel has always been the center of attraction for investors and entrepreneurs from around the world,” Cukierman added.
Hong Kong property tycoon Ronnie Chan agrees. Chan, chairman of the Hang Lung Group, received the Go4Israel achievement award at this year’s conference in honor of his contribution to strengthening the business and political relationship between China and Israel.
“Israel is at the center of the world,” Chan told Tazpit News Agency. “Geographically and historically, this region has always been at the center,” he told Tazpit.
Chan, a devout Christian, has been visiting Israel frequently over the past 36 years, and has brought many delegations of major Chinese business leaders and entrepreneurs to introduce to Israeli high-tech companies.
A featured speaker at the conference and one of the participants in the Go4China panel, Chan spoke of what initially sparked China’s interest in Israel.
“Chinese businessmen are intrigued by Israel, both Christians and atheists. The book Start-Up Nation was read widely throughout China and really did a lot for Israel,” Chan said during a panel discussion.
According to Cukierman, China has acquired $7 billion in Israeli assets in the past three years.
This year alone, the Chinese equity-investment management and financial-services company Yongjin Group Inc., has invested between $15 million and $20 million into Israel’s Pitango Venture Capital. In late August, Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. invested $10 million in venture fund Canaan Partner Israel, which is affiliated with the American-based Canaan Partners. Ping An Venture has made six investments in Israeli startups, following the creation of a $100 million fund dedicated to U.S. and Israeli tech ventures. Ping An Venture also invested in a new fund set up by Israel’s Carmel Ventures capital firm, as did Chinese Internet search engine Baidu.
“We are firm believers of combining two market places – China and Israel, together,” said Shengyan Fan, the managing partner of Catalyst CEL Fund, a joint venture between China Everbright Limited and Cuckierman, during the panel discussion. “I’m really happy to be here – I’ve been to Israel many times in the last two years and look forward to achieving mutual goals together,” she said.
Other panel discussions dealt with the place of Europe in Israel’s business agenda, opportunities and risks in the global and local real estate market, and the image of Israel abroad.
Chan related that during the Gaza war, a Chinese delegation of businessmen had visited Israel. “Even with Hamas firing rockets, not one member of the delegation wanted to leave,” said Chan. “They were too intrigued by Israel. These businessmen have become Israel’s friends for life now.”
Israel-based website building tool provider Wix.com is acquiring OpenRest, another Israeli start-up that specializes in on-line ordering and mobile solutions for restaurants. The acquisition is Wix’s second in an industry-specific vertical in recent months. OpenRest’s technology will be integrated into Wix’s web authoring platform to further expand the company’s already considerable reach, and giving a boost to smaller restaurants looking for ways to attract hungry customers.
The number of people who have been infected with Ebola in the current outbreak of the disease now exceeds 10,000 in eight different countries, and approximately 50 percent have already died from the virus.
The Israelis are now stepping in to help contain the spread of the deadly epidemic; and special inflatable isolation tents manufactured by Israeli company SYS Technologies, which specializes in the development of clean-air systems and mobile operating theaters, have been installed recently in Guinea.
The inflatable tents have also been purchased for the treatment of Ebola patients by other countries on the continent, where the World Health Organization has yet to find a way to halt the spread of the epidemic.
“There is currently no effective treatment for Ebola, so the principal weapon against it is to isolate the patients so that others aren’t infected,” says entrepreneur Yossi Yonah, who is marketing the Israeli solution. “Our units are far more readily available than other mobile structures, and they are hermetically sealed and protect the surroundings from the patients.”
Delivery time from the company’s factory in Or Akiva currently stands at two weeks, during which the units are manufactured in accordance with the client’s specifications, using sub-contractors, too, and then flown to Africa, deployed and inflated. The units use a positive pressure technology to create an absolute clear and isolated environment and maintain the structure. The company has also developed an incubator-like stretcher for the safe transfer of patients to the isolation tents.
Aside from Guinea, the company has also received orders from other African countries, and is currently in talks with additional ones where cases of the disease have been found or that are readying for possible outbreaks. Entities in Israel, the Israel Airports Authority among them, have also expressed interest in the systems.In addition, Israelis are also providing Africa with a system that helps to quickly diagnose potential Ebola patients – an infra-red camera that measures the body temperature of passengers at airports
It’s not every day that a world champion sumo wrestler visits Israel’s capital. But on Tuesday, Israelis of all ages watched in fascination as the Hawaiian-born Japanese-Samoan former sumo star, Konishiki Yasokichi shared his moves during a special workshop for children in Jerusalem.
The sumo wrestling workshop was part of the first Japanese Culture Week, held in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Israel Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Center for the Advancement of Culture and Knowledge from October 19 – 25.
Today a popular celebrity in Japan, Konishiki, during the height of his career, reached ozeki, the second highest rank in sumo, a sport with origins that go back 2,000 years ago.
“It’s my first time in Jerusalem,” said Konishiki in an interview with Tazpit News Agency. “I’ve always wanted to visit and it’s been an exciting experience to be here in the Holy Land, teaching kids sumo wrestling.”
“It’s a lot calmer here than I thought it would be,” added the legendary sumo wrestler, who has been living in Japan for 32 years.
In addition to sumo wrestling, the new cultural festival also featured Sake tastings, Japanese music shows, tea ceremonies, Ikebana films, Japanese cooking and Origami workshops.
Israel has been growing increasingly close to Japan recently. Following a successful visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Japan earlier in May, Israel became the first country that Japan signed an Industrial R&D (Research and Development) Collaboration Agreement during a visit by the Japanese Economic Minister to Israel in July.
The relations are of particular importance given Japan’s advanced technology and strong economy, which is ranked third in the world in terms of GDP.
“We are building different levels of connections with Japan,” said Hagai Shagrir, Director of the North East Asia Department of the Israel Foreign Ministry. “Connections are being formed both on a government level with ministers and leaders and also between our people in the areas of technology, science and culture,” Shagrir told Tazpit.
“We hope to see increased tourism between both Japan and Israel as well,” said Shagrir, whose department oversees relations with Japan, China and South Korea.
“Although we are geographically very far apart, we share some similarities,” Shagrir told Tazpit. “Both countries do not have natural resources and consequently we have had to develop our human resources. Both Japan and Israel have invested greatly in education.”
“As an Israeli, I respect the ancient and beautiful elements of Japanese art and culture along with the modern elements,” commented Eyal Lavit, one of the organizers of the Japan Culture Week.For Emy Osaka, who grew up in southwestern Japan but has been living in Israel for 20 years and speaks Hebrew fluently, Japan Culture Week has been an exciting event. “Seeing Konishiki here with my kids was amazing. This event makes Jerusalem feel more like home,” she told Tazpit.
“Through sumo wrestling and maybe other sports, we hope to strengthen the cultural exchange between Japan and Israel,” concluded Konishiki. “The kids here are definitely excited about it.”
SDM is launching a call for the second year of #project972! We are looking for students in Canada who love everything Tel Aviv and everything #Israel. If you are a #fashionista, #foodie, #music junkie, or inspired by the #innovation and #inclusivity, or just love the #beaches of #TLV, we want you to apply!
We are looking to recruit 8 students from campuses across the country where you will be given the support and resources to host two events during the school year. Last year’s roster of all-star interns had SDM sponsored study recharge booths in the library during exams, a music jam session for peace, film screenings, Israeli wine and Canadian cheese events, and more!
This is a paid internship – you will get a stipend upon completion of the two events.
If you’re interested please send your CV to Sarina@sizedoesntmatter.com
Abundance of #hashtags inspire by
My name is Baden and I’m a journalism major at Carleton University. I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I love traveling, exploring, and meeting new people.
I am Full time students at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, studying political science and religious studies. I am originally from Bangladesh and spent my early years in the Saudi Arabia. I am a classical liberal and very passionate about my work with Dalhousie IOC. I love exploring various cuisines and love to know more about those ones through firsthand experience.
I’m Zoë, a city-slickin’ Montreal native currently living in beautiful Halifax. A first-year student at Dalhousie University studying International Development and Gender and Women’s Studies, I love traveling, darkroom photography, and dancing around in my underwear to Beyoncé. I’m beyond stoked to be joining the Project972 team and can’t wait to share my love for the Holy Land with everyone around me.
I was born in Moscow Russia, and was raised in Brooklyn New York by my grandmother. I have a great interest in medicine, finance and the corporate world. On spare time I enjoy breakdancing and the Latin 5. Would love to travel to Brazil and Morocco one day.
Hey! My name is Lia. I’m 21 and in my fourth year of my Political Science major at the University of Victoria. I was born and raised on the West Coast, in a small town northwest of Vancouver. Aside from politics, I love being outdoors, traveling, and cycling; and of course, I am passionate about sharing the beauty of Israel with everyone!
I am one short semester away from completing my B.A. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University. Although I love spending time with family and friends at home in Thornhill, Ontario, I am a self-proclaimed travel guru who is always looking for my next adventure abroad. I am excited to work with Size Doesn’t Matter this term and spread my love of Israel!
My name is Tanya. I am originally from Toronto but I am currently attending school in Guelph studying Criminal Justice and Public Policy. When I am not busy with school I love fashion, beauty, travelling, reading and Israel, of course. Im also a bit addicted to social media so you can find me on twitter where I tweet about such things as my detest for winter and why there is no unicorn emoji! I am so excited for what the future holds for me with Size Doesn’t Matter and life!
My name is Stephanie, I’m from a tiny town in northern Alberta. I currently live in Ottawa, ON and am taking International Studies and Modern Languages at uOttawa. I love adventures, new places, happy people and hammocks. I’m really looking forward to this term, and the opportunity to team up with SDM.
I’m currently in my fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts, studying Economics and Political Science, at the University of Alberta. I love to travel and spend time in the mountains, this has included a number of backpacking trips through the Rockies and a recent trip to Israel. When I’m not studying, I can usually be found enjoying an espresso or some live music.
I’m a first year student from Toronto majoring in International Development at McGill University. I’m very excited to be working with the Size Doesn’t Matter team to introduce my favourite aspects of Israeli culture to my fellow students on campus.
While you may not find yourself stuckin this exact situation, you may need at least one of these tools. Israel has the answer: it has created a solar-powered “tree.” According to NPR, “its brown metal trunk and branches reach high toward the sky, like the acacia tree this model is named after. Its seven broad “leaves” are standard solar panels. They shade benches below, as well as power electric and USB outlets, chill drinking fountain water and supply energy for wi-fi.”
Read more at NPR.