The Chinese new site Sina.com reported March 23 (our translation):
Recently, the Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said at a news conference revealed that China and Israel will launch FTA negotiations this year. The government’s work report makes clear that it wants to promote Free Trade Area negotiations with both the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as well as Israel, Mr. Shen said.
When will China and Israel open FTA negotiations this year, and how will they proceed? To answer this question, a reporter from China Sankei Shimbun interviewed the Deputy Director of the Middle East Research Center of China’s Academy of Social Sciences, Liu Dong.
Mr Dong said, “In the case of China – Israel FTA negotiations, I believe that the difficulties will be smaller than in the case of many other countries, since the establishment of the FTA does not have a major impact on specific industry sectors in China. Progress in negotiations is likely to be proceed more smoothly than in other cases. China and Israel have their own comparative advantages in trade. They are complementary economies. Israel has developed a relatively high level of technology, and its labor costs are relatively high.”