Austria Bids for Palestine Commerce
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Austria Bids for Palestine Commerce

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A deliberate bid for Palestine trade on the part of the Austrian government was seen here in an exhaustive article on the nature of Palestine’s foreign business published by Dr. M. Sattler, secretary of the government-controlled foreign section of the Austrian Chambers of Commerce. Dr. Sattler attended the Levant Fair last year as the official Austrian representative and made every effort to strengthen Austrian trade with Palestine.

Citing figures showing that Germany’s trade with Palestine has increased heavily in the last two years, being now second only to Great Britain, Dr. Sattler reaches the conclusion that national and political antipathies are meaningless where economics are concerned. He shows that despite the mutual hatred between the Germans and the Jews, trade between them has gone on and even increased where it was economically profitable.


“The figures for the first half year of 1934,” he writes, “reveal that Palestine imported during this period goods to the value of £7,046,528, compared with £4,873,000 in the first six months of 1933. Great Britain came first with £1,380,000, compared with £903,174 in the same period in 1933, Germany came second with £858,744, compared with £810,700 in 1933, and the United States third with £591,228, compared with £450,000 in 1933.

“Palestine exports in the first six months of 1934 amounted to £2,459,019, compared with £1,900,744 in 1933, of which Britain took £1,369,418, compared with £1,202,879 in the same period of 1933, and Germany £589,135, compared with £307,302 in the same period of 1933.

“These figures prove that Germany holds second place in Palestine trade, coming immediately after Great Britain. It should be observed that though Britain as Mandatory does not enjoy direct preference, the influence of the orders placed by the government and quarters standing close to the government is easily discernible in the import statistics. All orders for the Palestine and Transjordan governments, for the police, the military and the Iraq Oil Company naturally go to Britain.


“The fact that the British-Palestine trading balance was almost equalized in the first half year of 1934, is explained by Palestine’s orange exports being practically concentrated in the first three months of the year, and the balance sheet for the whole of the year does not run at all on the same lines. It is estimated that the imports for 1934 will amount to £14,000,000 or £15,000,000, while exports, in view of the small orange exports for the second half of the year will increase by little more than £4,000,000, so that Palestine will have an excess of imports of about $10,000,000.

“Germany not only maintained, but very considerably increased her trading account with Palestine. According to the statistics, Germany’s imports from Palestine in 1932 amounted to 5,429,000 marks in 1933 to 5,694,000 marks and in the first half year of 1934 to 11,731,000 marks.

“That the increase in Germany’s imports is accounted for mainly by oranges is shown by the following figures: In the first half year of 1932 Germany took 82 per cent of her oranges from Spain, 8 per cent from Italy and 9.6 per cent from Palestine; in the first half year of 1933 she took 70.1 per cent from Spain, 18.5 per cent from Italy and 10.4 per cent from Palestine; and in the first half year of 1934 she took 60.5 per cent from Spain, 11.1 per cent from Italy and 26.8 per cent from Palestine.


“German exports to Palestine amounted in 1932 to 8,000,000 marks, in 1933 to 11,400,000 marks, and in the first half year of 1934 to 8,500,000 marks. It is quite safe to assume that the figure for the whole of 1934 will be just double, about 16,000,000 to 17,000,000 marks, which means that exports from Germany to Palestine have doubled in these two years.

“If we analyze German exports to Palestine, we find that the increase has been in productive articles, mainly machinery, while the figures in respect of articles of consumption show a decline.

“This development of foreign trade between Germany and Palestine is the more amazing because Germany’s foreign trade is very much #hampered by the currency difficulties, quite apart from the lack of raw materials and the

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