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Israel Day Ceremonies Held at U.S. World Trade Fair in San Francisco

Israel expects to increase its exports to the United States for 1964 to between 53 million to 55 million dollars, Pinhas Sapir, Israel’s Minister of Finance, Commerce and Industry announced here today.

That figure will compare to 47 million dollars worth of Israeli exports to the United States in 1963. Despite this increase however, Mr. Sapir said that the trade gap between Israel and the rest of the world is still the “most burdening economic problem” facing Israel today. By comparison with Israel’s exports to the United States, Israel imports from the United States are still about four times as high.

Mr. Sapir was the principal speaker here today at Israel Day ceremonies held in conjunction with the United States World Trade Fair which opened at the Civic Auditorium here last Thursday to run for ten days. Israel has one of the largest pavilions at the Trade Fair where 21 other countries are displaying their wares.

Against the background of Israel’s colorful exhibit 300 leaders in general, civic, business and Jewish life from California gathered to participate in the Israel Day ceremony. The San Francisco group was headed by Mayor John F. Shelley, Charles Snitow, president of the Fair, members of the foreign consulate staffs on the West Coast and leaders of trade and commerce. Leaders of various Jewish organizations including the local federation, United Jewish Appeal and Israel Bonds were among the guests of honor at the ceremonies.

60,000 VISITORS VIEW ISRAEL PAVILION; SHOW INTEREST IN PRODUCTS

Israel’s pavilion at the fair is not only among the largest but also among the most popular. So far since the opening of the fair last weekend an estimated 60,000 people have viewed the Israel exhibit and the total attendance is expected to be well over 300,000. Among those viewing the Israel exhibit and evaluating some of the products in detail are heads of trade organizations, large commercial combines on the West Coast and department stores. Many thousands of viewers representing the general public have similarly shown great interest in some Israeli products.

Among the products that seem to interest both commercial interests and the general public are Israeli fashions, flower bulbs, foods, stamps and coins, giftware and a new Israeli Sabra sports car. That car, a sports model, is to sell at approximately $3,200 on the West Coast.

Pointing out that the United States is Israel’s largest supplier and that, in 1963, Israel bought more than $184,000,000 worth of goods and materials in the United States, Mr. Sapir said that the figure will be “considerably higher” this year.

“Now,” he said, “we are not lamenting this fact. Indeed, you have very good products and we have close economic ties with your great nation, Still the ratio between exports and imports between our two countries is about 4 to 1 in your favor. We believe that the answer is not to buy less here, but to sell you more. We feel that we can and should sell more.”

So successful has the Israel exhibit been here that the Israeli trade officials announced they will move it in toto next month to the Texas State Fair in Dallas, which is one of the most important state fairs in the United States.

Observers noted that Israel shared honors at the trade fair here today with one of its closest allies, France. France Day was celebrated at the Fair this afternoon while Israel Day was still in progress with a fashion show and other colorful events.

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