China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and Amir G. Kabiri, President of the M.T. Abraham Foundation, recently reached an agreement to build new, major football stadium project, which will be part of a Sino-Israel cultural hub in south of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam.
While most stadiums in Israel are public projects, this one would be largely private, with public authorities offering only the land and road network. Not precisely in Tel Aviv, this stadium is about to be built at the south end of Bat Yam, one of the cities constituting the wider Tel Aviv urban area.
Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz held meetings with Chinese energy companies included Sinopec Group (China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation), China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) and CMEC. Steinitz notified these companies that Israel planned to reopen its economic waters for oil and gas exploration, inviting them to participate in the exploration.
The proposed deal might not be major, but it demonstrates how Chinese investors might use football as an investment strategy as part of their quest to expand and gain influence across the world.
CMEC is now working on establishing an Israel-based subsidiary in order to carry out the project together with Kabiri’s company. The two are dependent, however, on Bat Yam municipality, who still have to rezone the selected plot. This hurdle should be cleared soon as the stadium has support of both local and state authorities.
Contrary to most of Israel’s stadiums, this one would be a private project. Even more unusually, it would also be an Israeli-Chinese joint venture. Enabling works on the 30,000-seater have already begun.