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Department of Commerce Stresses Trade Opportunities with Israel

The United States Department of Commerce reported today that Israel’s economy, “despite some conflicting forces, continues to expand, and the brisk economic growth characteristic of previous years is expected to continue, ” The report emphasized that “this expansion, together with Israel’s import liberalization program, should augur well for United States suppliers.”

The report noted that the Israel Government was emphasizing the development of basic transportation and communication facilities and was encouraging the private development of industry. For these reasons, the Department added, “there should be particularly good opportunities for United States suppliers of electrical equipment, industrial machinery and construction equipment.”

The report said that the program of import liberalization started at the beginning of 1962 and expanded further last October, “already has freed about half of all Israel import items from import licensing. ” The Department said that “relatively high duties had limited the effect of this move as far as an increase in imports was concerned but that the Israel Government had indicated its intention of exposing the local Israeli industry to foreign competition. “This should open the door to United States sales of a wide range of goods, including some consumer products previously restricted, such as household utensils, appliances and work tools, ” the report stated.

Israeli sources were cited in the report as listing “a record total imports into Israel during 1962 of $612,700,000–a 4.5 percent increase over the $568,300,000 figure for 1961. During the same period imports from the United States rose to $201,500, 000–a 28 percent increase over the 1961 figure of $172, 900, 000. The United States, Israel’s principal supplier, enjoyed almost 33 percent of the market in 1962 as compared with approximately 29 percent in 1961.”

U.S. SALES OF INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY TO ISRAEL INCREASING

The report cited United States trade statistics as indicating that United Sates sales in 1961-62 rose from $146,000,000 to $174,900,000 and that United States suppliers “scored almost across the board increases in the major items of Israel’s import portfolio. Significant increases were evident in the fields of industrial machinery and aircraft, while imports of the former, contributing to the rapid growth rate in Israel’s industrial sector, rose from $14,900, 000 in 1961 to $21,700,000 in 1962. At the same time, however, electrical machinery registered a slight decline from $8,400, 000 to $8, 200,000.”

The Department said that while construction activity in Israel declined slightly toward the end of 1962, “the activity of the previous months in this field was reflected in larger sales of United States construction equipment up from $3,800,000 in 1961 to $7,300,000 in 1962.”

Sales of United States vehicles of all types to Israel, including tractors, autos, trucks and buses, also scored increases from $11,200,000 to $16,300,000, the report noted, and exports of aircraft were up considerably, “registering $17,100,000 for 1962 compared with $9, 600,000 during the previous year.”

EXHIBITION OF U.S. INSTRUMENTS IN ISRAEL SPURRED SALES

Purchase by Israel from the United States of wheat and related grains from $32,000,000 in 1961 to more than $37, 000, 000 in 1962, the report said, “reflected a fairly high purchase level of surplus agricultural products under the United States PL-480 program.”

The Department also said that “the favorable results of two exhibitions of scientific instruments held in Israel toward the end of the year suggest that such events can be of considerable assistance in increasing sales of United States goods. One of these, with 14 United States firms participating, resulted in the sale of 90 percent of the equipment available for sale, which included most of the instruments brought for the exhibition.”

The report said that the importance of such endeavors “is underlined by the fact that West European countries are making similar efforts to penetrate the market in Israel which, up to the present time, has favored the United States with 60 percent to 70 percent of its foreign purchases of scientific equipment. United States exports to Israel of scientific and professional equipment amounted to $1,600,000 last year.”

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