China Israel Free Trade Agreement

The trade balance between Israel and China is largely in China`s favor. China sees Israel as part of its New Silk Road project, which aims to strengthen its influence in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The project is openly supported by strong figures in the Israeli government, especially Finance Minister Israel Katz. So the question is not whether a free trade agreement will be signed with China, but when? When will be the right time to officially take this step without (yet) upsetting the Americans, for whom this is a delicate matter? This will likely happen after the presidential election in the United States, when Americans will be busy with their own affairs. It is very likely that after signing a free trade agreement with China, the Japanese will also give the green light to such an agreement with Israel. Here too, tariffs are removed on Japanese car models assembled in Europe, but which, despite Israel`s free trade agreements with the EU, are subject to tariffs due to the high proportion of components from Japan itself, including hybrid models. The agreement is expected to have a significant impact on the Israeli economy in general and on the vehicle trade in particular. The Chinese are working to create free trade zones in the countries where they operate. The new port in Haifa Bay could be such an area that serves not only Israel, but also the Gulf states.

It would also increase motivation to import more vehicles from China. In December 2017, Australia`s Minister of Commerce, Steven Ciobo, pointed out that “the lifting or reduction of Chinese tariffs has strengthened our exports to our largest trading partner – Australian exports of goods and services to China increased by 25 percent in 2016-17 to a record 110 billion Australian dollars (US$84.3 billion). The Canberra government went so far as to call the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement a “historic agreement that brings enormous benefits to Australia, strengthens our competitive position in the Chinese market, boosts economic growth and creates jobs.” This is an important step in China`s pursuit of opening-up,” he said. Zhong added that the trade pact is expected to forge a new round of high-level opening-up in China, amid a global economic recession caused by COVID-19 and growing external uncertainty. A free trade agreement between Israel and China is approaching after a long work. So far, seven rounds of the official meeting between the representatives of the two countries have taken place (the eighth was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic) and there is a willingness, even enthusiasm on both sides, to conclude the agreement. Yesterday, “Globes” revealed that a free trade agreement between Israel and South Korea would receive the final touch and that it would likely be signed within a few weeks. The trade balance between Israel and China is by far in China`s favor. .

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