Israel's exports of services dropped 11 percent and imports of services fell 14% in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period last year, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce reported Wednesday.
"The large fall in the volume of exports and imports of services was mainly in tourism and transportation services," federation president Uriel Lynn said. "The decline is a direct result of the global economic crisis and the downturn in global demand for goods and services."
Exports of services including tourism, banking, insurance and shipping decreased 11% to $16.3b., in seasonally adjusted terms in the first nine months of the year, the federation reported. Imports of services dropped 14% to $12.8b., it said.
"If the government, instead of hurting the business sector, improves its services for the sector, including loans for small and medium-sized businesses, we can expect a recovery in 2010," Lynn said.
Exports within the transportation sector, which includes shipping services, plunged 39% to $ 2.4b. Transportation services make up 15% of total exports of services.
Imports of transportation services, which make up 32% of total imports of services, dropped 20% to $4.1b.
Imports of business services, which include commerce, industry and entertainment and make up 47% of total imports of services, fell 9% to $6.1b.
Exports of tourism services, which includes travel and tourism agencies and expenditures by foreign tourists in Israel, fell 10% to $2.7b. Exports of tourism services make up 16% of the total volume of exports of services.
Imports of tourism services, which includes expenditures by Israeli tourists abroad, declined 16% to $2.2b.