Israeli Industrialists Present Demands to Government; Seek Revision of Customs Duty
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Israeli Industrialists Present Demands to Government; Seek Revision of Customs Duty

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The Israeli Manufacturers Association, whose meeting here concluded today, adopted a number of resolutions outlining the demands of businessmen on the government.

Primarily, the Association decided to call on the government to revise the present customs schedule. The government will also be asked to halt the importation of goods which are also manufactured in Israel. The Association, which called on the government to organize labor exchanges, agreed to peg prices on the condition that wages, transportation and other costs to the manufacturers also be frozen.

It was learned today in high governmental circles that Israel will purchase between $200,000,000 and $240,000,000 worth of supplies abroad during 1949. It was emphasized in these same circles that Israel’s trade would not be linked with either’ the western or eastern blocs. It was pointed out that since Israel is short on foreign exchange it will seek barter arrangements with all nations which will enter into such agreements and which have goods which Israel needs.

Meanwhile, in a move to improve world-wide trade contacts for Israel, the government has appointed commercial counsellors to its legations and consulates. Commercial contacts are being maintained even with nations which do not recognize or may he hostile to Israel politically, including Britain and Greece. Israel is anxious not to mix business with politics, government circles said. They added that the government’s representatives abroad as well as the various Jewish Agency offices are prepared to offer all assistance to all prospective investors in Israel’s economy.

A new settlement — “Bustan Hagalil” — has been established in western Galilee by the Jewish Agency’s private enterprises department, it was announced here today. Some 80 families, the majority of whom are immigrants from Rumania who spent some time in the Cyprus detention camps, will cultivate orange groves and vegetable gardens. When the settlement reaches its full planned development, some 500 acres of land will be under cultivation.

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