Israeli exports to Arab countries rise 19%

Israel's exports to Arab countries grew to $206 million in the first nine months of 2006, 19 percent more than the parallel period last year, the Israel Exports Institute said Sunday. Sales to Egypt led the growth, 36% higher than last year at $92m. influenced mainly by the QIZ agreement signed between the two countries in February 2005 under which Egyptian companies can export to the US tax-free, provided that 35% of the product is jointly Egyptian and Israeli, and that the Israeli component constitutes at least 11.7%. Exports to Jordan rose 12.5% to 496m. even as the number of exporters operating there has dropped 25% to 1,300 since 2004.