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Economic Expert Says U.N. Body Understated Size of Israel’s Development Program

Dr. Moshe Witkon, economic counselor of the Israel Embassy, told the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization that “the gap existing in the present structure of international public finance which, while financing the foreign capital goods share in any investment program, makes no provision for the current consumption needs and thereby imposes a real limitation on the extent to which underdeveloped countries can embark on development programs.”

Dr. Witkon said figures in the F.A.O international investment report heavily understate the size of Israel’s development program. The report mentions for the years 1949-1953 a total investment program of $170,000,000 of which $105,000,000, including a share of $35,000,000 worth of imported equipment, are said to be desired for agriculture.

The Israel representative emphasized that specific programs for $65,000,000 of the $100,000,000 Export-Import Bank loan will require local expenditure of at least twice that amount. Even a country to which all resources are open cannot invest in a development program more than it can spare from its current minimum needs, he declared.

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