18 November 2017 - 1 Kislev 5778 - א' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Singapore Airlines eyeing direct flights to Tel Aviv E-mail

Singapore Airlines, considered one of the world’s top air carriers, is looking into launching direct flights to and from Israel. According to sources in the Israel Airports Authority, the airline has submitted a request for permission to land in Israel starting in the summer of 2017, but there is no guarantee that the flights will be approved.

Over 10,000 Israelis visited Singapore in the first six months of 2016 alone, compared to 15,000 in the whole of 2015. This growth would justify direct flights.

Singapore is a gateway to the Far East, as well as a hub for flights connecting to Australia. Currently, Israelis can travel to Singapore on Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Jordanian and Turkish Airways, or fly to Singapore from Europe.

In 2015, Singapore Airlines, like other premium Asian airlines, experienced a drop in the number of business-class passengers and lower demand for full-price tickets caused by the new budget airlines operating in Southeast Asia. The airline is seeking new markets, which is apparently one of the reasons it is looking into Israel.

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China’s Neusoft and Infinity Group set up Israel med-tech fund E-mail

Chinese IT corporation Neusoft and Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Infinity Group have set up a US$250 million investment fund and platform for Israeli medtech companies operating in China. The new fund was launched at the recent “INNONATION: China-Israel Investment Summit”, which was held in September in Tel Aviv. It was the second such summit – the first was held in Beijing in January 2016.

The aim of the fund is to create a model by which Israeli medical technology companies can connect to China by integrating into the cloud being developed by Neusoft.

The cloud and Neusoft’s connections will offer Israeli companies access to and approval from the SPDA (the Chinese equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration) as well as end-user customers.

This is the first such co-operation between Infinity Fund and Neusoft, and the investment will run over three years.

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Israel and China looking to establish free trade zone E-mail

Amit Lang, Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, announced recently that China and Israel will soon begin negotiations on establishing a free trade zone.

In making the announcement at the second annual China-Israel Investment Conference in late September, he said the negotiations would aim to remove trade barriers between the two nations.

Lang characterised China as a “strategic partner” for trade, noting that Israel had established six trade missions in the country, more than in any other.

“Israel is a powerhouse of innovation and hosts more than 270 international companies, including some Chinese corporations that appreciate the opportunities in Israel,” Lang said. “We would be happy to see even more Chinese companies and investors become active in Israel. We invite you to familiarise yourselves with our innovation and originality, attractive incentives, tailored support and ability to do business.”

The push to bolster trade between Jerusalem and Beijing comes amid growing interest in Israeli tech startups by Chinese investors.

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Samsung Electronics opens new Global Innovation Center Print E-mail

Samsung Electronics opened a new Global Innovation Center (GIC) in Tel Aviv on 29 September, underscoring the South Korean company’s growing interest in Israeli innovation.

Samsung GlC was launched in 2013 as an early-stage technology investment programme. The tech giant already has GIC offices in New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Silicon Valley.

Samsung Next celebrated an official launch at the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival in September. Its booth at the annual tech event included a virtual reality roller-coaster ride using Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus. Samsung’s new Tel Aviv centre, located at the Sarona complex, will invest in artificial intelligence, cyber security and augmented and virtual reality.

(Issue Nov 2016)


Israeli high-tech expertise on show at GoforIsrael conference E-mail

A long line of Chinese investors trailed at the entrance of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Shanghai in September to meet the Israeli startup entrepreneurs attending the GoforIsrael conference, organised by Catalyst Fund and Cukierman Investment House. The entrepreneurs themselves were surprised at the huge interest.

Chinese investors’ enthusiasm for Israeli technology companies remains high. A total of more than 2,800 participants attended two GoforIsrael events, one in Shanghai and one in Wuhan. The conference was held outside Israel for the first time in 15 years. Instead of bringing Chinese investors to Tel Aviv, the organisers led a group of over 100 Israeli startups and Israeli high-tech companies to China.

The highlight of each conference was the meetings between Israeli entrepreneurs and hundreds of Chinese investors, including executives from Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Lenovo and many funds, who were competing for meetings with directors of Israeli companies. The Israeli companies that appeared before the Chinese investors were well-established high-tech companies alongside young startups, and all of them attracted tremendous interest. Just a few of those present were Zerto, XJet, WeWork, Tufin, ReWalk, Kaminario and Mobileye.

Yoel Gat, CEO of SatixFy a satellite communication technology company, said: “I have participated in many conferences, but it was the most impressive of all, and not just because of the number of investors, but rather the quality of investors. We met at least 10 Chinese funds, some of them very large. Throughout the event was a long line of Chinese investors who were waiting to talk to us, some investors and some potential clients that I have been trying to get in contact with for years.”

Yair Shamir, Managing Partner of the Catalyst CEL Fund noted: “The conference exceeded our expectations. At the conference in Shanghai alone we had 1,700 participants. There were hundreds of face-to-face meetings between Israeli companies and potential investors, and we hope to see these relations continue and yield results. There were companies that had six to eight follow-up meetings in one day, which significantly shortens the process and helps to advance in a shorter timeframe.”

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