Israeli businessmen have heard the news: Hong Kong is the new Chinese medicine for trade headaches. 'In the five months since I've been chairman of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce,' said Avishai Hamburger, 'I've had so many inquiries from Israeli companies wanting to sell in China - but through Hong Kong companies, especially Hong Kong companies with Israeli connections. 'It's not only because they want partners who know the Chinese codes and attitudes. It's also the Israeli mentality. 'Some of those who have tried to do business direct have now decided to try to do it the more traditional way through Hong Kong. It saves a lot of headaches.' And Mr Hamburger believes the medicine is about to become more effective because of Hong Kong's return to China. Israeli businessmen were keen to take the opportunities it offered and were joining the chamber of commerce in increasing numbers. Israel was not only interested in selling in China but in sourcing products there. With China now capable of producing not only cheap textiles and toys, but good quality goods, high technology and even foodstuffs which met Israel's strict health and religious requirements, more and more companies are coming to Hong Kong. Hong Kong businessmen knew there was a market in Israel for their China products and connections. There was also, Mr Hamburger stressed, an opportunity for investment. Israel's tax breaks for foreign investors, free trade arrangements with the United States and the European Union, mean Hong Kong companies setting up in Israel would find it a bridge to lucrative Western markets. 'If they can establish part of their production facilities in Israel and sell to the West it's a huge opportunity,' he said. 'The return on investment in Israel is good. The infrastructure is good. The market will grow,' Mr Hamburger said. And the chamber, which now has about 50 companies on its membership list, is the place to make the contacts Hong Kong companies need. 'We would be open to members from the whole Middle East. And we have new members from Hong Kong and even France,' he said.