Finance, Economy ministries take steps to boost exports

Israel to set up a World Bank fund designed to help market Israeli goods in developing countries.

December 4, 2013 00:03
1 minute read.
Finance Min. Yair Lapid at the JPost Diplomatic Conference

Finance Min. Yair Lapid at the JPost Diplomatic Conference37. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Finance and Economy ministries are embarking on a series of steps to boost Israeli exports, such as setting up a World Bank fund designed to help market Israeli goods in developing countries.

“Strengthening Israeli exports will help the Israeli economy penetrate new markets, lead an innovation-based economy, increase industry productivity and apply the comparative advantage we have in developing markets,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Tuesday.

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To further help exporters, the Finance and Economy ministries will support background surveys for tenders on international projects. To bid on international tenders, companies often must create pilots and prove feasibility, a cost that can be prohibitive. A new fund in the Economy Ministry will provided half the cost up to NIS 800,000 to help companies in their applications.

The ministries are also putting money toward advancing exports to China, India and Africa, in particular. In the first 11 months of 2013, Israel exported $1.9 billion of goods to China and $1.7b. to India. In 2012, it exported $1.3b. to Africa. Combined, the three destinations accounted for about 10.3 percent of Israel’s overall exports in 2012.

“Strengthening economic ties with other countries, especially countries like India and China, is important for the Israeli economy from a national perspective,” Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett said. “It is critically important to open up to new markets and thus reduce Israel’s economic dependence on particular markets.”

The announcement came as the Manufacturers Association of Israel reported a 6% drop in Israeli exports in the third quarter of 2013, led by a 15% real drop in tech exports.

“The strengthening of the shekel, increasing costs such as property tax, water and electricity, and heavy regulation – among the heaviest in the world – hurt the ability of Israeli enterprises to grow and export and are leading them to narrow their activities in Israel and open production lines and new plants abroad,” Manufacturers Association CEO Amir Hayek said. He called upon the government and Bank of Israel to intervene.

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