Ambassador Amikam Levy on the occasion of the 63rd Independence Day of the State of Israel on 10 May 2011
Today we mark 63 years of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Over these years, our vision for a better Israel, continued growth and prosperity, has made us become, through our collective efforts and dedication, a diverse democracy with an innovative economy and a creative culture.
Israel is a major player in the hi-tech world, which explains the considerable contribution of the country not only in the field of hi-tech startup, but also through R&D centres for companies like Microsoft, Intel and Motorola.
The quality of our people is key to such development, to quote Warren Buffet, as he has said recently during his visit to Israel, “If you are going to the Middle East to look for oil, you can skip Israel. If you are looking for brains, look no further. Israel has shown that it has an unproportional amount of brains and energy.”
Israel has the third largest number of listed companies in the NASDAQ, after the USA and Canada; 79% of the R&D in Israel is in the high-tech sector; Israel has the highest percentage of scientists and engineers in the world; Israel is ranked number 1 in the world in term of R&D investment per capita and ranked number 6 in the world in its ability for innovation.
These know-how and experience of ours we share here with Hong Kong. Our same vision for continued growth and prosperity bonds us together.
In our eyes, Hong Kong is a centre of excellence – with its strategic location at the heart of Asia Pacific and as a gateway to Mainland China; with its low and simple tax system, stable and efficient pro-business environment; and with its status as the world’s freest economy and a leading international financial centre.
In the past year, we were excited to see a number of important bilateral exchanges that strengthen the relationship between Israel and Hong Kong, particularly the visits of the President of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR Mr. Jasper Tsang to Israel and the Speaker and Head of the Knesset of the State of Israel Mr. Reuven Rivlin to Hong Kong.
The other two important visits were that of Israel’s Minister of Finance Dr. Yuval Steinitz with a media and business delegation to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong’s former Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Mrs Rita Lau to Israel, promoting business and technology collaboration.
Israeli companies’ taking part in Hong Kong’s business and commercial activities was also notable, as in the hi-tech, jewellery, wine, cosmetics and other sectors. Our mission is to bring together the relative advantages of China, Hong Kong and Israel in order to create a common successful business by connecting the Chinese market, power and financial strength with Israeli innovation and R&D. We will continue sending economic delegations to Israel, sooner than the later.
Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Co-operation last summer, we saw numerous Israeli artists performing at various events and Israeli films featured at many film festivals in Hong Kong.
The people of Israel, Hong Kong and China share the same visions and values, and have been enjoying a longtime friendship and understanding. We say yes to peace; we say yes to stability; and we say yes to fruitful co-operation. Our great desire to collaborate will take us steps further for a better future, for the benefit of our children – the leadership of tomorrow.
去年，有一些重要的雙邊交流，加強了以色列和香港之間的關係，令我們甚為興奮。包括有香港立法會主席曾鈺成訪問以色列，以及以色列國會議長Mr. Reuven Rivlin訪港等。
另有兩項重要的訪問是，以色列財政部長Dr. Yuval Steinitz連同一個新聞媒體及商界代表團訪港，以及前商務及經濟發展局局長劉吳惠蘭訪問以色列等，促進了以港兩地的商務及科技合作。
以色列、香港及中國內地的人民分享相同的視野和價值，因而共享長久的友誼和瞭解。我們對和平說「是」、對穩定說「是」、對合作的豐碩成果說「是」。我們合作的偉大願望是：為美好的將來跨前大步、為我們的孩子們 – 將來的領袖的利益！