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Argentina Refuses $2.5 Million Electronics Contract to Israeli Low Bidder

Foreign Ministry sources expressed concern today over the cancellation of a $2.5 million electronics order which an Israeli firm, Tadiran, had won from the Argentine Government in competitive bidding. The order was cancelled despite the fact that Tadiran offered the lowest price, According to unconfirmed reports, Argentina intends to place the order with a Dutch manufacturer.

The Ministry sources pointed out that Israel’s trade with Argentina has been heavily unbalanced in recent years in favor of the latter country. In 1966, they said, Israel purchased $15 million worth of goods in Argentina and sold only $300,000 worth there. In 1967, the balance was $10 million against $500,000 in Argentina’s favor. Israeli imports from Argentina are almost exclusively frozen meat. There was no indication that the Foreign Ministry was considering cancelling or reducing Israeli imports but ministry sources said the Argentine Government had been approached through diplomatic channels on action to correct the imbalance. An Israeli commercial exhibit which was destroyed recently by fire on the Buenos Aires fair grounds two weeks before it was to have opened had been intended to stimulate Argentine purchases from Israel.

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