Trade Between U.S. and Israel Totalled $1,500,000,000 in Ten Years

Americans have invested in 256 new enterprises in Israel during the ten years of the existence of the Jewish State, Nathan Straus III, president of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported tonight at the annual dinner of the organization.

He said the total volume of trade in both goods and services between the United States and Israel exceeded $1,500,000,000 during the decade, with Israel purchasing some $850,000,000 worth of goods in the United States. At the same time, he announced that the Chamber’s program for the second decade called for a total of $1,500,000,000 in economic relations between U.S. and Israel.

Lynn U. Stanbaugh, first vice president of the Export-Import Bank of Washington, told the gathering that during the past ten years, the United States Government has provided Israel with grant and loan assistance of various kinds totalling $556,000,000. Mr. Stambaugh, who headed the Bank’s mission to Israel last summer, said that while Israel seemed to be “a young country still in need of continuing foreign assistance” it also appeared to be a country “firmly determined to utilize to the fullest extent the resources, both natural and human, which it possesses.”

The Bank’s mission, he said, also found that although the importance of Government in the Israeli economy is great, “private enterprise is widespread also in both agriculture and industry and is making good progress under able leadership.” He disclosed that of the recently approved $24,200,000 loan to Israel, $12,000,000 will be used for the purchase in the U. S. of equipment and materials for water supply and distribution $8,200,000 for farm buildings, farm machinery and livestock; and $4,000,000 for equipment and materials for agricultural storage and processing facilities.

Meir Sherman, Israel’s Minister for Economic Affairs in the United States, paid tribute to the decisive help of the American Government and American people in providing capital, know-how and encouragement, without which it is difficult to conceive Israel’s progress in her first decade. He praised the Export-Import Bank of Washington and the American commercial banking community for foresight in offering credits to Israel and pointed out that their confidence in Israel has been fully justified and rewarded.

Mr. Sherman stated that “Government investments during the last decade, in the creation of conditions to attract private enterprise, will serve as a basis for an increasing flow of private investments in the coming decades, as more and more businessmen become acquainted with the growing opportunities for investments in Israel’s extractive and manufacturing industries, trade, shipping, aviation and travel.”

The Israeli Minister presented to Mr. Straus a silver-bound Bible from the Israel Government, in recognition of his and the Chamber’s achievements. The Chamber’s “First Decade Awards” were presented at the dinner to several leading private American investors in Israel, among them Joseph Nazer, of the Hudson Pulp and Paper Corporation, Rudolph G. Sonneborn, of Sonneborn Association Petroleum Corporation, Ira Guilden in behalf of the Palestine Economic Corporation and Judge Bernard Rosenblatt, president of Rassco Israel Corporation.

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