Israel stands to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from the lucrative soccer World Cup market hosted by South Africa in 2010, said the Israel Export Institute on Sunday, urging Israeli companies to exert more of an effort to tap into the market. "This event represents a $500 million untapped frontier for Israeli companies," said David Artzi, chairman of the Israel Export Institute. "In the next short time, South Africa will embark on a program of increased development in order to prepare for the World Cup and we believe that Israeli companies can command up to 20 percent of the $2.5 billion World Cup budget." In an effort to help Israeli firms take advantage of the business potential of the next World Cup taking place in South Africa in the summer of 2010, the Israel Export Institute will stage a conference on Monday focused on accessing and supplying support for one of the world's largest sporting events. Companies which stand to gain the most from the event are those that provide security consultation services for large events, first aid services, cellular and fixed-line communication services and technology infrastructure, Artzi noted. According to figures by the Israel Export Institute, over the months of January- October 2007, exports (not including diamonds) from Israel to South Africa rose to $224m., a 9% increase when compared with the same period in 2006, while Israel imported $133m. worth of goods from South Africa over the same period, a rise of 40% from 2006. For 2008, the Israel Export Institute predicts Israel will export some $279m. worth of goods to South Africa. As of the end of 2007, some 1,110 Israeli companies were operating offices in South Africa, representing an increase of 7% from a year earlier. "The objective of the seminar that we will be holding on Monday is to not only point out and assist Israeli companies in identifying potential business stemming from the World Cup, but we hope that coming out of it, more local companies will look to establish branches in South Africa," said Moshe Leader, director of the International Business Development branch at the Export Institute, ahead of the conference. In addition to officials from the Export Institute, other representatives scheduled to present at today's conference include Boaz Hirsch, director of foreign trade in the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry; Judika Tlali, first secretary in the South African embassy in Israel and David Tzor, senior security consultant for the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and Athens in 2004. Meanwhile, in November, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai and Yuri Kostenko, the Assistant Foreign Minister of Ukraine, signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) joining the two countries together in preparation for the Euro-2012 soccer tournament, to be held in Ukraine and Poland. Israeli experts and companies will provide technology and service solution-support to Euro-2012 officials in Ukraine as the country prepares for the games. Separately on Sunday, the Israel Manufacturers' Association announced that in 2007, exports of rubber and plastic rose 9.6% to $2.08b., the first time exports of these products topped a record of $2b. Local sales of plastic and rubber rose 4.3% to $1.75b., said the Israel Manufacturers' Association.