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Israel Government Concludes Two Important Economic Arrangements

The Israel Government today concluded two important economic agreements, one with the British-owned Consolidated Refineries Company and one with the Finnish Government.

The agreement with the oil company, which came after protracted negotiations begun nearly five years ago when the British Mandate in Palestine was surrendered, gives Israel the right to refine its own crude oil as well as to market its own crude or refined petroleum products. The company will also guarantee Israel oil products for local consumption and its revenues will be subject to Israeli fiscal regulations. The agreement, which was initialled today, is subject to Parliamentary approval in Jerusalem, further negotiation in London on technical details and final signature in London.

The Finnish trade agreement signed this afternoon extends the current, expiring pact between the two states and provides for Israel to import between $7,000,000 and $8,000,000 worth of goods in 1953. Israel will also be allowed to pay off in goods a debt resulting from the previous pact. Last year’s trade between the two countries amounted to about $4,500,000.

Meanwhile, it was announced that the Israel Attorney General will go to London to conclude long-pending negotiations with the board of the Palestine Electric Company. The Israel Government is anxious for the company to expand its facilities, but the company has been unable thus far to raise the necessary capital. The government is investing, meanwhile, considerable sums of money in the development of electric power.

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