Hundreds in town for PM export conference

The year 2006 is expected to be a "record year" for foreign business delegations to be hosted in Israel by the Israel Export Institute.

Twenty-five foreign delegations, including some 700 businessmen from around the world, are expected to participate in this year's Prime Minister's Conference for Export and International Cooperation, the Israel Export Institute said Tuesday. At the conference - to be held Thursday at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv - the visiting trade figures will have the opportunity to meet with more than 800 Israeli manufacturers, exporters, and other businessmen. Potential purchasers of Israeli products from the US, Argentina, Brazil, China, Cyprus, the UK, Greece, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Turkey, and elsewhere are expected to attend. Israel Export Institute chairman David Arzi said the institute was planning to establish a network of business development centers around the world to help locate business opportunities matching the expertise of Israeli companies. The centers - the first of which will begin activity in the coming year - will work alongside existing commercial attach s and trade offices, he said. Locally, the institute will open offices to provide Israeli companies with information on business opportunities, consulting and assistance. Together with conferences and delegations, the institute's expanded activity could create more than 11,000 opportunities for Israeli businesses already in 2006, Arzi predicted, adding that non-diamond exports could reach $40 billion by the end of 2010, up from last year's figure of $23.7b. The year 2006 is expected to be a "record year" for foreign business delegations to be hosted in Israel by the institute, with roughly thrice the amount arriving by the end of this year, and fully six times the 50-odd that came in 2004. The institute is also planning 67 delegations of Israeli exporters abroad and 57 conferences in 2006, concentrating on Russia, India, China, South Korea and Mexico. Separately, Israel Manufacturers Association President Shraga Brosh noted that the country's industrial exports grew a "disappointing" 3.5 percent in 2005 to roughly $25.5b., a much slower rate than last year's 17.5% growth figure. In 2006, exports are expected to grow 6.5%, he said.