Date
21 July 2017
Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein says Israel wants to forge a labor agreement with China. Photo: HKEJ
Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein says Israel wants to forge a labor agreement with China. Photo: HKEJ

Israel seeks to import more Chinese construction workers

Israel is seeking to forge a labor agreement with China to allow more Chinese skilled workers to enter its infrastructure industry, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

China has been undertaking a number of investment projects in Israel, especially in the construction sector, employing lots of Chinese workers, said Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, speaker of the Knesset, the country’s legislature, on the sidelines of an awards ceremony in Hong Kong last week. 

While this is a welcome trend, Edelstein said counting solely on the private initiative of Israeli labor companies for the recruitment of Chinese labor is by no means reliable.

“Unfortunately, we had some bad experiences in the past,” Edelstein noted.

But once Beijing and Tel-Aviv seal a labor agreement, more experienced Chinese workers will be able to take part in Israel’s construction projects, he said.

Edelstein said Israel, given its competitive edge in technology, could play an important role in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plan for sustainable development.

“Israel has wonderful eco-technology, green technology and clean technology. These could be very useful in this field,” he said, referring to Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

China is Israel’s third-largest trading partner. During her visit to Israel last month, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong started talks on the establishment of a bilateral free-trade zone, Edelstein said.

The Beijing-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the One Belt, One Road policy are “game changers” for Israel, he said, adding that Israeli enterprises feel “safer” when dealing with Chinese counterparts.

Edelstein met Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Beijing last week.

[Chinese version中文版]

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CK/JP/CG

HKEJ reporter

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