Containers are seen in this general view of the port of the northern city of Haifa April 23, 2013..
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Israeli trade reached unprecedented levels in 2018 as it set an annual record of more than $110 billion in exports, initial forecasts published Tuesday by the Foreign Trade Administration (FTA) at the Ministry of Economy and Industry revealed.
The expected 7% increase compared to 2017 exports is courtesy of rapid growth in various sectors, including a 14% growth in the export of services, now valued at approximately $51b. Technology-related services were the fastest growing sub-sector, growing by a significant 20% in value.
Goods exports are also estimated to have increased by a more modest 3% to $60b. Notable markets included China, where exports increased by some 52% to $5.03b., Japan by 42% to $1.16b, Brazil by 28% to $1.16b. and Argentina by 16% to $0.16b.
These figures show the importance of Asia and Latin America as key emerging markets for Israeli manufacturers, with exports increasing by 14% to both continents.
“During a year in which the world trade market was shaken up, I am particularly pleased to see that Israeli exports have continued to grow as they have in recent years and, as reflected in the data, we expect another record year for Israeli exports,” said Ohad Cohen, head of the FTA.
“We will continue to work for the export community with even greater vigor in 2019, through our 43 economic attachés across the world, by expanding the free trade agreement system in order to grant exporters a competitive advantage over their competitors abroad and, of course, by utilizing our unique assistance funds for the export community.”
The past year also witnessed record-breaking government support for Israeli exporters, with increased resources being dedicated primarily to first-time exporters as well as more established companies seeking to enter new markets.
The FTA approved 281 out of 413 applications for exports assistance, worth a total of NIS 104 million. This represents a 16% increase in the number of approved applications and an 18% increase in total financial support since 2017.
The administration’s “Gate To International Markets,” targeting first-time exporters, also concluded its second year of activity. It approved 90 applications for assistance, worth a total of NIS 16 million – an increase of 40% since 2017.
Primary export destinations for companies seeking assistance was the USA (169 applications), followed by Germany (35), India (33), the United Kingdom (32), China (31) and France (22).
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