Textile industry spreads its yarn [p. 15]

Israeli Textile exports are expected to grow 2 percent to $1.09 billion this year, the Textile division of the Manufactures Association of Israel said Sunday ahead of its annual meeting today in Tel Aviv. Most significant for the association has been the 23% growth seen in exports to China as sales to what it termed "the textile country" were expected to rise to $5.5m. this year. The largest growth market, however, has been Egypt where textile sales grew 86% to $42.1m. in the first nine months of the year boosted by the Qualified Industrial Zone agreement signed with that country in February 2005. Under the QIZ agreement, Egyptian companies can export to the US taxfree, provided that 35% of the product is jointly Egyptian and Israeli, and that the Israeli component constitutes at least 11.7%. While sales to the US still has the largest volume of all destinations for the Israeli textile market, exports there fell 11.6% to $389.3m. between January and September. The Association reported that Israeli textile companies are currently doing business in 114 different countries.