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Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has set up an inter-ministerial committee to improve coordination between the ministries in an effort to boost economic cooperation and foreign trade relations.
"There is no doubt that Israeli export growth will lead to more demand and less unemployment as well as strengthen the ability of the economy to compete in world markets," Olmert said. "The coordination between the economic ministries to promote trade will lead to the advancement of economic targets in a more effective and efficient way."
The committee, which is headed by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor director general Raanan Dinur, includes officials from the Ministries of Agriculture; Industry, Trade and Labor; Foreign Affairs; Tourism; and Finance; as well as the Israel Export & International Cooperation.
Olmert noted that a number of governmental bodies were already actively involved in promoting export growth, but that a more integrated effort was needed to utilize the potential of the economy in particular in view of the emerging markets in Russia, Asia and eastern Europe. There are 30 economic representatives of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor spread around the world; 90 representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; four each of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Tourism; and two of the Ministry of Agriculture.
"The aim is to see if all the resources are being used efficiently and whether coordination between one ministry and another could help boost trade and tighten budgets," Boaz Hirsch, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor bilateral trade agreements division director told The Jerusalem Post. "We are going to examine what our needs and resources are for now and the future and examine whether we can cooperate with other ministries."
The committee is expected to present to Olmert, within a month, economic models to help to fully utilize cooperation and coordination between the ministries.