Earlier this month, the first ever China-Israel Technology, Innovation and Investment Summit, jointly sponsored by the Greenberg Traurig Tel Aviv and Shanghai offices, took place in Beijing. The 3-day event was organized by the Israeli and Chinese governments, together with Infinity Group, an investment firm that has been involved in the China-Israel ecosystem for more than a decade, to address issues relevant to the burgeoning interest by China in Israeli innovation. In recent years, high capital availability in China, combined with a realization that the continuing modernization of traditionally industrial Chinese businesses requires leveraging technological innovation, has made Israel a prime destination for Chinese investment dollars. Greenberg Traurig, being the only major international law firm with offices both in China and Israel is therefore uniquely positioned to advise both Chinese and Israeli clients on cross-border transactions.
Originally planned for 800 attendees, the summit attracted a crowd of roughly 1,800 representatives of Chinese and Israeli companies and investors and provided a platform for 80 Israeli tech companies from an array of sectors such as life science, agriculture, clean-tech internet, and others to showcase their products and technologies. Among the key speakers were Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water; Hejun Yin, Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology; and Guo Guangchang, Executive Director and Chairman of the Fosun Group, one of the largest and most active Chinese investment groups operating in Israel.
During the event, Tel Aviv Shareholder Joey Shabot participated on a panel in which he discussed practical tools for cross-border deal making and provided insight on issues for both sides to consider when negotiating an M&A deal in Israel.
In addition, Greenberg Traurig hosted a private luncheon for 140 senior Chinese business people. Opening the luncheon, Shanghai Shareholder George Qiand Tel Aviv Of-Counsel Ephraim Schmeidler gave a short presentation in Mandarin of Greenberg Traurig’s global and cross-border capabilities.
Participation at the Summit was undertaken and conducted in true partnership between the Shanghai and Tel Aviv Offices. The event has exceeded everyone’s expectations and is sure to be the first of many such events.