Israel and China signed an agreement on Monday to invest £8 million ($10 million) in the construction of three Israeli-Chinese artificial intelligence technology institutions in Haifa, Hangzhou and Beijing. The deal marks 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two states.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen and University of Haifa President Ron Robin were present at the signing of the deal, which was part of a three-day visit to China to boost financial ties between the bilateral powers. China’s Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang was also present.
The construction of the institutes is set to be completed within the next two years.
The tripartite deal was signed by the University of Haifa, Hangzhou Wahaha Group and the Institute of Automation in order to develop highly advanced application technologies. This includes innovative developments in vision tracking through mobile devices, 3D image learning, chip technologies, image processing for medical applications and more.
On Tuesday during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the establishment of a “Comprehensive Innovation Partnership” with Israel. Netanyahu hailed the partnership as a “tremendously important decision” for cooperation between both countries.
Prime Minister Netanyahu stated: “We have always believed…that Israel can be perfect partner for China in the development of a variety of technologies that change the way we live…in every area”.
Speaking of his admiration for China, Netanyahu noted that by “working together we can make the future better for our peoples, but also…for humanity as a whole”.
China’s President Xi Jinping announced that the innovation partnership was intended to increase bilateral cooperation, and to bring “complementary advantages for both parties” and “more on-the-ground benefits to Israel and China”.
Netanyahu also sought to establish a special economic memorandum for Israel’s technology market in light of China restricting Chinese capital sent abroad in January 2017. The meeting between Netanyahu and Xi marked the second official time the two leaders have met, with the first taking place in 2013.