cargo shipping boat 88.
(photo credit: )
The Israel Exports Institute launched an initiative Sunday to create 17,000 new opportunities for Israeli exporters, which it hopes will boost exports by approximately $300 million in 2007.
"In the framework of our new strategy, we are working to create trade prospects to help our business development representatives around the world advance and improve the services and opportunities that the institute provides for exporters," said David Arzi, chairman of the IEI.
Arzi said he expects the number of opportunities created by the program to grow to 22,000 in 2008, and 26,000 in the program's third year. By 2010, it was hoped the program would yield approximately $1.5 billion in additional exports for Israel.
The IEI said it expects exports to North America, excluding diamonds, to rise 23% this year over last, to $10b. and to reach $12b. by 2010 - the same forecast for Europe, which is set to grow 10% to $9.9b. for this year. Exports to Asia, the IEI said, should increase 13% to $4.5b. in 2006 and reach $7.2b. by 2010, while sales to Latin America will end the year 21% higher than last year and continue to grow to $1.4b. in four years time.
Meanwhile, a number of international business delegations were in the country this week to boost trade with Israel.
Among these, a 37-member delegation from Mexico, which arrived last week to attend the Telecom Israel conference, visited the Eshkol district Sunday close to the Gaza Strip, with the intention of forging joint agricultural projects with industry in the area.
The delegation, which includes companies in the telecommunications, agriculture, textile, food and infrastructure industries, will be looking to build on last year's $236 million trade figure between Israel and Mexico, which has grown to $203m. in the first nine months of this year.
Hoping to reverse a slowdown in trade between Israel and Croatia seen so far this year, Croatian Economics Minister Branko Ukelic met with leading businessmen and politicians Sunday, presenting them with investment opportunities in the Eastern European country.
Trade between the two countries declined to $12.2m. between January and September, some 8% lower than the parallel period last year.