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Israel Minister Addresses Delegates of 41 Nations on Foreign Trade

Israel’s accession to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is stimulating an expanded liberalization of Israel’s economy, Pinhas Sapir, Israel’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, emphasized today addressing the GATT conference here which is attended by 41 nations representing three-fourths of total world trade. He said that Israel plans within the next few months to liberalize part of its foreign trade.

Israel, he said, was ready to take an active part in an all-out effort to reduce barriers to international trade. Import restrictions could not provide the boost needed for expanding Israel’s economy, he stressed. The solution must be found in additional liberalization of Israel’s economic policies, he added. He expressed the hope that the reassurances given here by GATT members would result in definite multi-lateral solutions for countries such as Israel, which are dependent on an immediate expansion of their foreign trade.

Mr. Sapir expressed Israel’s satisfaction over the fact that GATT was meeting in an Asian country. He said Israel was trying to develop joint economic ventures with African and Asian countries as part of an active trade policy. Declaring that Israel must make up her lack of raw materials and fuel, he said “we are prepared to devote all our efforts to promote exports with all countries and international trade corporations.”

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