Israeli Agricultural Delegation visits China

Interview with Mully Dor, Chairman of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development
January 18, 2015
Israeli Agricultural Delegation visits China (Enlarge)

A commercial delegation of senior officials of the cooperative movement in Israel led by Mully Dor recently returned from a visit to China. The delegation were guests of the ACFSMC (All China Federation Supply & Marketing Cooperatives) and Coop China, which is the business branch of a corporation operating in China's 32 provinces that incorporates 2377 local cooperative unions, employing 3.4 million workers; the corporation has 160 million members organized in different types of agricultural cooperatives.  

 

This cooperative organization made a net profit of about 6 billion dollars in 2013 and its network of 329,000 stores currently sells commodities, which account for 70% of the market for agricultural inputs in China.  Additionally it operates 34,000 farms producing crops and livestock as well as serving for agricultural demonstrations, and owns a further 335,000 stores for the sale of agricultural inputs. The cooperative sees agricultural development in China as its main mission.

This trip was a reciprocal visit following the study tour to Israel by senior officials of the China Coop led by the deputy president Zhuge Caihua, as guests of the "Negev Institute – AJEEC" in October 2014.

In 2015, China emerged as the world's largest economy in terms of purchasing power, and overseas investment by the Chinese abroad now exceeds foreign investments in China.  High national growth which currently stands at about 7.3% and significant government investment in agriculture are expected to continue.

Therefore, the Israeli agricultural delegation visited China to assess the possibilities for developing commercial links with China in all aspects of agriculture. They also sought to learn about the key challenges awaiting exporters to China that include cultural differences, government policies and the sheer size of this vast country.
  
During discussions with the hosts it emerged that China Coop has excellent connections with the Chinese government and they are willing to allow Israel's representatives to avail of their services in promoting business deals on both the provincial and national levels.  
         
During the recent visit to China cooperative ventures in the following areas were discussed and agreed:
1. Israeli exports to China: At the present time kibbutz industries export industrial products for agriculture and irrigation including fruit juice with a value of about 100 million dollars.  The Chinese clients are interested in expanding imports of Israeli fruit juice, avocado and citrus fruit, as well as plastic products to improve agricultural irrigation, control systems and hi-tech products. Logistic assistance using storage and distribution systems in tax-free zones in China also appeal to them.
2.  Imports from China: Coop Israel is negotiating the import of supermarket trolleys, small plastic bags and non-food items.
3.   Agreement was reached to organize additional study sessions for senior managers from China on the issues of cooperative development and combating desertification to be held at the Negev Institute.  These sessions are a continuation of the further study seminars held in previous years for managers from India, Sri Lanka and China. 
  
Among the members of the Israeli delegation were Dana Schlesinger, the deputy CEO of the Milouot Corporation for the Development of the Haifa Bay Settlements Ltd.; Yankele Sharansky, the manager of the department for field advisors to kibbutzim in the United Kibbutz Movement; Segev Jeroboam, CEO at the Upper Galilee Farmers Association; Eran Hofman, deputy CEO for trade and commerce at Coop Israel; Ariel Dloomy, Co-director at the Negev Institute and Mully Dor CEO at the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development – AJEEC, who headed the delegation. 

 

Our advantage as agricultural cooperatives (kibbutz and moshav settlements, regional organizations and kibbutz industries) stems from the high level of trust prevailing among the cooperative organizations on an international level.  As members of the International Cooperative Alliance – Asia we have a long record of cooperation, mutual trust, sound relationships and friendship, which have borne the test of time. During our most recent visit we met the current president of the Asian Cooperative Alliance Lee Choonseng, the vice president of China Coop, who stated that the relationship, which has been established between us and the fine friendship which has been proven to be mutually reliable open up an opportunity to create significant joint business ventures.

 

China Coop has excellent connections with the Chinese government and they are willing to allow us to avail of their services in promoting business deals with Israel on both the provincial and national levels. 

            

 

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