AMSTERDAM (Jun. 17)
A three-day conference of Israeli economic and commercial envoys in Western Europe was opened here today with an address by Akiva Govrin, Israel’s Minister in charge of foreign trade, who called for increases in exports as essential to Israel’s growing economy. Among those taking part in the conference were Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands David Shaltiel, leading figures in Israel’s ministries of foreign affairs, finance and commerce and industry.
In his address at the conference, Mr. Govrin said that both the European Common Market and the European Free Trade Area will remain for years to come Israel’s main economic outlet. He predicted that Israel will be able to widen its recent agreement with the Common Market by doubling and trebling its exports in those categories in which concessions were gained. Such an effort, he noted, would also help to gain a similar advance later in additional categories of goods.
Pointing out that today, only 15 per cent of Israel’s industrial production is being exported, Mr. Govrin said that increases of 25 per cent a year until 1970 was the country’s immediate goal. This could be achieved, he declared, through the combined efforts of producers at home, government measures and sustained efforts abroad.
Earlier today, Mr. Govrin, accompanied by Ambassador Shaltiel, called on Dr. Jacobus Driessen, the Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs, at the latter’s office in The Hague. Mr. Govrin thanked the Dutch Minister for his assistance in the prolonged negotiations which led to Israel’s agreement with the Common Market. Both ministers agreed that the pact was only a prelude for further understanding.