China, Israel agree to accelerate establishment of bilateral free trade area

6 days ago | 21-03-2017 | ANI

Beijing [China], Mar. 21 : Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang held talks with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing on Monday, vowing to advance innovation cooperation as well as agreeing to accelerate the establishment of bilateral free trade area.

Li suggested the two sides to beef up cooperation in areas of basic science, modern agriculture, clean energy and biomedicine, reports Xinhua.

He urged the two sides to speed up negotiation on the establishment of a bilateral free trade area, so as to send out a clear signal of safeguarding free trade.

"China is ready to work with Israel to push forward infrastructure cooperation, such as ports and light rail projects, and explore possibility of cooperation in third-party market, he said.

As a mutual friend of Israel and Palestine, China has no private interest and hopes to see peaceful coexistence of the two sides at an early date, said Li while hoping that the two sides would adhere to the right direction of the two-state solution to restart the peace talks as soon as possible.

Netanyahu on his part said Israel is willing to strengthen innovation cooperation with China in areas including smart vehicle, modern health care, clean energy, telecommunications, marine fishery, agriculture and water conservation.

"Israel hopes to accelerate negotiation on bilateral free trade area, so as to expand two-way investments", he said, adding that Israel is ready to enhance education cooperation with China to support their innovation partnership.

He said Israel welcomes Chinese companies to participate in its infrastructure projects and is ready to enhance transportation cooperation with China.

Netanyahu is paying an official visit to China from March 19 to 22 at the invitation of Li. He arrived in Beijing on Sunday for his second official visit to the country.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders will be meeting Netanyahu over the course of his stay, as well as the largest Israeli-business delegation to ever visit China.