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U.S. Export-import Bank Grants $35,000,000 Loan to Israel for Agricultural Expansion

The Israel Government today announced the successful conclusion of negotiations with the Export-Import Bank for a credit of $35,000,000 for the expansion of Israel’s agriculture and the production of fertilizers.

Ambassador Abba S. Eban expressed thanks for the attention with which the Bank examined Israel’s needs. Mr. Eban said: “Approval of the credit testifies both to the highly cordial nature of United States-Israel relations and to the confidence felt by the highest financial quarters in the productive potentialities of Israel’s economy.”

It is contemplated that the new credit will provide essential dollar financing for equipment and materials to be used for Israel’s agricultural expansion in 1951 and 1952. The new loan follows a previous $100,000,000 Bank loan granted in January, 1949.

Contracts have been signed for purchase of equipment covering all of the $100,000,000 credit, but Oscar Gass, economic adviser to the Israel Government, said today that he is afraid the Korean war situation may hold up delivery of some mechanical items contracted for under this loan.

Under the new loan, Israel will establish fortilizer plants which are planned to be adequate to meet the total national requirements of all basic fortilizers and to provide some markets for export. With the new money, Israel will also construct new regional irrigation works which will add approximately 70,000 acres to the irrigated areas of the country. Part of the fund will be used to complete rehabilitation of Israel’s citrus industry and for new citrus planting.

Another use of the new loan will be for aid in diversified farming by which 2,500 additional farms will be established in existing older communities settled before 1946. It is also planned to complete the basic equipment of some 12,000 farms in newer communities, established since 1946.

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