Head of Chinese Alibaba Group praises Israel’s ‘courage to change’, during visit
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Head of Chinese Alibaba Group praises Israel’s ‘courage to change’, during visit

Jack Ma praises the Jewish state's innovation and 'chutzpah' during attendance at Prime Minister’s Israeli Innovation Summit

Joe Millis is a journalist

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 21, 2016.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 21, 2016.

Jack Ma, the founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, was effusive in his praise of Israel when he addressed the opening of the Prime Minister’s Israeli Innovation Summit.

He said he had learned two things about Israel: “It has innovation, and it has chutzpah, ‘the courage to change’. In Israel, innovation is everywhere, like water and food, it’s so natural.”

He added: “Israel knows that the most precious resource in the world is not oil, gas — it is the human brain.

“Most people innovate for success, but I find Israel innovates for survival.

“You don’t have diamonds, but you have the biggest diamond exchange in the world. You don’t make cars, but you have the best car technology in the world. You don’t have water, but I heard that you are one of the biggest exporters of vegetables and fruits to Europe. That is amazing.”

Mr Ma noted: “Small is beautiful, small is powerful – just like Israel”

Jack Ma with Israel’s Prime Minister

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