While almost every other country in the world is unable to market satisfactorily its industrial and agricultural products, Palestinian producers continue to dispose of their goods and the country continues to offer opportunities for manufacturers and horticulturists according to reports just received from Palestine by the American Economic Committee for Palestine. In addition, the reports point out that while other governments, because of world-wide economic conditions, are experiencing difficulty with financing their operations, the Government of Palestine, which had a deficit of Â£40,971 in 1930, showed a surplus of Â£61,383 on January 1, 1932.
I. Rokach, managing director of the “Pardess” Company and president of the newly established Jaffa Citrus Fruit Exchange, reports that more than 3,500,000 cases of oranges and grapefruit were exported from Palestine during 1931-32 and predicts that by 1937 the orange crop alone will be at least twice as large as it is at present. According to Mr. Rokach, 17,500 additional dunams of land will be placed under orange cultivation during the current year. An experiment in the export of eggs has already been made with highly satisfactory results and this experiment may lead to the development of an important branch of agriculture.
The building material and furniture-manufacturing industries are making good progress, according to the reports and the increased activity in planting is supplying work to dozens of factories and workshops. In a recent statement, Heschel Farbstein, of Poland, member of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and of the Jewish Agency, declared that there are good opportunities open for the manufacture of various types of metal goods such as locks, latches, pipes, plumbing fixtures, electrical equipment, etc. “During 1931 over Â£85,000 worth of pipes for irrigation and sewerage purposes alone were imported,” Mr. Farbstein pointed out, “and these might well have been manufactured in Palestine.”
There has recently been a large increase in the flow of new capital into Palestine, according to a statement made by Siegfried Hoofien, president of the Manufacturers Association and manager of the Anglo-Palestine Bank. Most of this new capital has been invested in houses, land, orange groves, mortgages, and several branches of industry. Only two bankrupts were reported during the first three months of 1932, one an Arab and one a Jew, and the number of unemployed in the country is comparatively small.