PARIS (Mar. 11)
Economic relations between France and Israel are first rate now, and continue to grow steadily, informed foreign-trade circles declared here today.
In the last two months, these circles pointed out, Israel has placed orders in this country for more than two-thirds of the $30, 000, 000 credit which France offered Israel after the Sinai campaign in 1956. More orders are being prepared now, and the total $30, 000, 000 credit is expected to be exhausted soon.
Five ships are to be built for Israel in French shipyards, at a total cost of $12, 000, 000, and Israel is also purchasing here $6, 000, 000 worth of railroad equipment. In addition, Israel is buying $2, 000, 000 worth of commercial planes and helicopters, a large quantity of prefabricated housing, and almost $3, 000, 000 worth of semi-finished chemicals and other chemical products.
So far, there has been no formal discussion about further French credits, beyond the 1956 $30, 000, 000 credit. However, trade between the two countries is growing steadily, and has now reached $11, 000, 000 annually–twice the total of Franco-Israel trade two years ago.
The foreign-trade sources revealed these figures in denying reports in the French press alleging that difficulties have developed in Franco-Israeli economic relations.