JERUSALEM (Jul. 7)
Minister of Commerce and Industry Ariel Sharon announced that Israel will send a commercial attache to Hong Kong within the coming year.
Israel already has commercial attaches in Japan and Singapore. Sharon’s announcement in a speech to the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce over the weekend indicated a growing interest in the Asian market. He said his ministry hopes to increase Israel’s exports to East Asia four-fold in the next 3-5 years.
While Sharon did not mention China itself as a target for trade with Israel, that country with an estimated population of over one billion has the potential to rival the American market. The decision to dispatch a commercial attache to Hong Kong is considered a step toward opening trade with China.
The British crown colony, a major center of finance and commerce, already has considerable trade with China. When its 99 year lease expires at the end of the century it will become part of the People Republic of China.