"The winding but rewarding road to China"
(The Investor, oct.2001)
“ ... Sharing Samid's optimism
is Dita Koren-Klein, chief executive officer of Techmatch, a consulting
firm that specializes in the Far East. According to Koren-Klein,
current developments in China represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
for Israeli communications technology companies. “China is
leapfrogging ahead of Europe and the U.S. in ADSL (fast Internet)
connections, as well as in the absolute number of cellular telephones
in use.” she says. As head of the Industry’s Office
of the Chief Scientist, Koren-Klein was tapped to lecture in Augost,
where the Israel Export Institute (IEI) organized a pavilion of
“ADSL has been slower to catch on in the U.S. and Europe than
industry analysts had predicted,” Koren-Klein observes, “Here
it’s already reached the one million subscribers mark, heralding
a bright future for broadband in China. In addition, China will
soon hit 100,000 ‘handphones’, as cellphones are called
Koren Klein is quick to dispel widespread misconceptions about the
New Economy and China, where the Internet is growing faster than
in any other country in the world. “According to conventional
wisdom, China is a place for production once the design work has
been done in the West,” she remarks. “But design houses
originating and operating in China are now on a par with design
facilities anywhere else, at very competitive prices.”
Koren-Klein says that Chinese business partners are looking for
strategic allies who want to build long-term relationships, not
just transact “one-off” deals. She adds that Chinese
consumers are also beginning to buy the electronic products they
manufacture. “Chinese home viewers are switching to DVD from
VCD [video compact disks], and that is double good news got Israeli
chip makers like Zoran, which has been selling chips for DVD applications
to China for the last few years.”
Koren-Klein’s analysis is borne out by the recent successes
of Israeli companies in China, where the various provincinal governments
have been given leeway to issue their own tenders and chart their
own courses in planning the development of their technology infrastructure.”
“ ... It is clear that the lure is great and the prizes enormous.
But gaining access to the business community of the PRC can be a
formidable challenge. Koren-Klein gained initial access through
two traditional gateways: Hong Kong, the former British colony that
reverted back to Chinese control and now bears the appellation Special
Autonomous Republic (SAR), and Singapore, whose population is 70
percent Chinese - a diaspora community of the mainland, with none
of the charged political baggage that hampers relations between
the PRC and the Republic of China (ROC), better known as Taiwan.
“There are numerous advantages to approaching China through
Hong Kong or Singapore, where existing partnerships with mainland
Chinese entities can be leveraged,” Koren-Klein says. “Language
is much less of a problem, since English is an official language
in both places. Hong Kong has the added advantage of proximity,
as well as actually being an integral part of the PRC. But Singapore
has invested heavily in building technology complexes in the PRC
in partnership with the Chinese government; and Israel has a long
history of very close relations with the Shoutheast Asian city-state,
which has served as a staging area for trade between the Jewish
nation and countries with whom diplomatic relations did not exist:
until recently, China and to this day, Malaysia and Indonesia.””
TechMatch Singapore - Israeli hub, a technological center
for Israeli high-tech companies expanding their activities into
Singapore and the Pacific Rim region
inauguration ceremony of the new Israeli incubator/hub in Singapore,
a branch of the Israeli company TechMatch, was held on 28th of August,
participating SIIRD, EDB Singapore management, Israeli delegates,
and guests from the Hi-Tech communities of Israel and Singapore.
TechMatch Singapore aims to commercialize Israeli technologies and
ideas by forming successful collaborations and joint ventures with
Singapore-based companies. By expanding into the region, the centre
will help Israeli high tech companies penetrate the 2.8 billion
people market of the Pacific Rim for the benefits of both sides.
TechMatch Singapore will promote business cooperation between Israeli
and Singaporean technological companies, as well as assist Israeli
companies set a base in Singapore, to further develop state of the
Israel invests 3.6% of its GNP in commercial R&D, one of the
highest investment rates in the world. Israel also has the highest
rate of engineers, doctors and PhD per capita as part of its workforce.
All this, along with the large number of Hi-Tech companies –
4000, second only to California’s Silicon Valley, has made
the Israeli Hi-Tech community among the world leaders, with innovative
technologies and products in the various technological fields such
as communication, security, micro-electronics, Biotechnology, medical
and bio-medical. There are 50 Israeli companies with offices in
Singapore and 90 companies with trading links.
TechMatch Israel is a Business Development consultancy firm, mainly
in the area of international cooperation. The company's experts
have vast technological knowledge and over 25 years of experience
both in managing R&D, business development and in bridging the
gap between technologies and their commercial materialization. With
a proven track record in assisting Israeli companies in establishing
business and R&D collaboration with overseas companies, including
Singapore and the region, TechMatch is concentrating its efforts
now in Singapore.
Israeli Hi-Tech companies regard Singapore as a natural partner
with clear synergy for their technologies and products; Singapore
offers to the Israeli companies an open, advanced and supportive
environment. “Singapore’s conducive environment is like
an enterprise greenhouse where start-ups thrive. Israeli companies
will enjoy pro-enterprise conditions where ideas can hatch and take
flight. Business friendly rules and regulations, a pro-IP (intellectual
property) legal system, attractive tax regime and efficient infrastructure
are key ingredients that help start-ups grow, glow and globalize.”
Said Mr Teo Ming Kian, Chairman, EDB who graced the official opening
of Tech Match Singapore.
TechMatch will also bring to Singapore the innovation, advanced
technologies, state of the art products, looking for new partners
and markets. Israeli start-ups can thrive in Singapore’s dynamic
“I am confident the Israeli start-ups will benefit from Singapore’s
highly modern industry and well connected infrastructure along a
pro-enterprise environment and continual drive towards technology
excellence.” Said TechMatch's Israeli spokesperson.
At the official opening, Israeli companies from the electronics
and biomedical sectors were presented to leading VC funds, investors
and representatives of the Singaporean technology community, signifying
a keen interest in the opportunities for collaboration and partnership.
The event was supported by the Singapore Israel Industrial Research
and Development foundation (SIIRD) which facilitates joint R&D
projects between Singapore and Israeli high-tech companies for commercialization.
binational incubator launched
The ceremony to launch the "Israeli incubator" in Singapore
was held this week. The incubator was established with the support
of the Singapore Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation
The agreement essentially creates a company (TechMatch
Singapore) that has "business
incubator" status with the Singapore government, which grants
certain tax, rent and other benefits for the incubator's projects.
Ministry of Industry and Trade and Israeli commercial attache
to Singapore Ehud Gonen noted that Singapore already has four
binational incubators with Germany, China, India and New Zealand.
He added that the incubator will help Israeli companies' Asian
operations through Singapore.
Israeli exports to Singapore totaled $ 133 million in the first
half of 2002, compared with $ 124 million in the orresponding
period last year, an increase of 7%.
Israeli imports from Singapore totaled $ 110 million in the first
half of 2002, compared with $ 111 million in the corresponding
period last year, an decrease of 0.6%.