JERUSALEM, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Israel on Wednesday signed a deal to sell China water technology valued at $300 million for use in the agriculture sector, the Israeli Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The deal was signed by both countries’ finance ministers in Beijing during a visit to China by Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.
Israel is a world leader in water technology products and has pioneered drip irrigation that was developed for arid Middle Eastern conditions. No details of the companies or technology involved in the deal were in the statement.
It has been increasing its exports to China in recent years as its two largest trading partners, Europe and the United States, have been in the throes of an economic slowdown.
“Israel considers the deepening of economic ties with China to be a very important strategic target for both countries,” Steinitz saud in the statement.
The statement also said officials from the two countries had discussed possible natural gas exports by Israel to China and that Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren said “talks would begin soon”, although it gave no more details.
Israel has made several huge offshore natural gas discoveries over the past three years that will ensure its energy independence for decades and even make it an exporter, although the first field will be online in the second quarter of 2013.
Writing by Ori Lewis; editing by Keiron Henderson