Israels first half exports to Arab countries up 21%

Exports to Iraq grew 7% to $2.6 million, and exports to Tunisia soared 159% to $1.4 million.

Israels industrial exports to Arab countries, excluding diamonds, grew 21% to $106 million in January-June 2005, compared with the corresponding period last year, Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute director Yechiel Assia said.

Assia noted that these figures did not include $6 million in indirect exports to Arab countries by way of third countries in the first half of this year. These exports resulted from partnerships between Israel and Arab companies.

Assia said that 66 Israeli exporters were currently exporting defense and consumer products, vehicle equipment, rubber and plastics products, metals, and minerals to Iraq. He added that these exports totaled $2.6 million in the first half of 2005, 7% more than in the corresponding period last year. Exports to Iraq totaled $5 million in all of 2004.

Exports to Tunisia zoomed 159% to $1.4 million, mostly chemicals, while exports to the Lebanon plunged 84% to $19.5 million, mostly office machinery, computers, textiles and clothing, and chemicals.

1,800 Israeli exporters are currently operating in Jordan, 120% more than in 2003. Exports to Jordan dropped 10% to $58.3 million in the first half of the year, compared with the corresponding period last year. Exports to Jordan consisted mostly of machinery and equipment, textiles, clothing, leather, wood, furniture, paper, and printing.

The number of Israeli exporters operating in Egypt rose 9% last year. Assia said that the signing of the qualifying industrial zones agreement had the potential to greatly boost business with Egypt. 123 Israeli exporters currently operate in Egypt.

Exports to Egypt grew 141% to $34 million in the first half of the year, mostly chemicals, refined oil products, textiles, clothing, and leather.

28 Israeli exporters current operate in Morocco, 40% more than in 2003. Exports to Morocco grew 43% to $6.3 million in January-June 2005.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on August 23, 2005

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