UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Oct. 7)
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization today forecast that Israel’s population would increase by 40 percent in the next eight years, reaching a total of 2,700,000 by 1967. In the same period, according to the FAO estimate, Israel’s national income will grow by 93 percent to 4,850,000,000 Israel pounds.
Vast growth was also predicted for Israeli agriculture, industry, exports and afforestation. “Exports of agricultural commodities,” the report stated, “are expected to rise by about two and a half times.”
The forecasts were made by the FAO in one of a series of studies conducted in 10 countries in the Mediterranean region, for the purpose of recommending policies and development programs which should be followed by the governments in the next 20 years. In accordance with FAO practice, however, Israel was included among the countries of “Southern Europe,” and not in the Middle East, because the Arab states object to inclusion of Israel in the Middle East.
Israel’s “most important goal to be obtained in the coming decade,” the report stated, is the closing of the gap in the balance of payments. “Through the expansion of exports and domestic production of import substitutes, Israel’s gap in the balance of payments is expected to decline to $55,000,000 by 1969, which may be covered by capital imports used for investments,” the report said.
As to Israeli accomplishments to date, the FAO experts listed these achievements: 1. “The educational institutions have developed according to modern needs.” 2. “Health services are well organized, and Israel compares favorably with most advanced European countries with regard to infant mortality, maternal mortality, infections, disease occurrence, etc.” 3. Unemployment in Israel is “not more than five percent of the labor force.”