JERUSALEM (Dec. 26)
An Israeli diplomat said today that Israel’s trade with the Common Market countries will “neither worsen nor improve” next year as a result of the pact signed in Brussels Friday. Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium, Moshe Allon, said on a radio interview that the agreement leaves tariffs on imports from Israel unchanged for another year in the three new Common Market countries, Britain, Ireland and Denmark.
Avraham Agmon, director general of the Finance Ministry, said Israel’s industry must prepare for the “enormous challenge” that will be presented by competing imports from EEC countries.
Britain, meanwhile, has cancelled its import quota on Israeli cotton textiles. The quotas will lapse Dec. 31. The cancellation was announced simultaneously here and in London. According to the agreement, Britain reserves the right to impose new restrictions if Israeli cotton sales there increase by more than 25 percent of the old quota figure next year or by more than 50 percent in 1974. After 1974, however, the right to impose new quotas will lapse.
An Israeli official said the most important aspect of the new development, is that “We (Israel) have at last been taken off the list of low-cost countries, such as Pakistan, India, Hong Kong and others where wages are below par.”
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