China looks to Israel to help address water woes

March 01, 2012

Israel will increase its exports of water technology to China under a newly signed agreement according to a top Israeli official.

In an economic protocol signed with China yesterday, Israel promised to provide USD300 million in preferential government loans to China for high-tech agricultural water conservation projects in five western provinces and regions including Gansu and Ningxia, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said at a media briefing in Beijing.

The protocol will help exporters of Israeli water technology for agricultural use such as irrigation and recycling, Steinitz said. Previously the two countries signed three economic protocols totaling USD1 billion, covering fields including agriculture, telecom, energy and medical treatment, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

Israel is seeking to boost sales to China as European countries are struggling with a debt crisis. While Israeli exports to China have more than doubled over the past two years, Steinitz said the scale is not enough.  

Israel is also reportedly mulling over exporting natural gas to China after it discovered several natural gas fields.

"No agreement has been signed yet as it will take years to explore the natural gas, but we hope natural gas resources will become another important part of our export besides high-tech sales," Steinitz said.