NEW YORK (Jan. 5)
Israel’s exports to the United States went over the $1 billion mark for the first time in a single year in 1981, it was reported today by Israel’s Economic Mission here. Uri Oren, spokesman for the Mission, said the dollar value of Israeli sales in the United States rose by 28 percent over last year, making the U.S. Israel’s largest single customer. The U.S. share of total Israeli exports rose from 18 percent to 25 percent last year.
Particularly strong Israeli exports to the U.S. Oren said, were high-technology products, including electronics, avionics, lasers, solar energy devices, computer software and medical equipment. Leading the list of consumer items was gold jewelry. Furniture, printing materials and food products also did well, Oren said, more than making up for the decline in the sale of polished diamonds to the U.S. The diamond industry has been in a worldwide recession for more than a year.
LEADS IN SCIENCE-BASED INDUSTRY
A typical new product was Neurogar, a member of the family of transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulator (TENS) devices, which uses electrical impulses to kill pain. Neurogar was developed at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and is manufactured at Kibbutz Ginossar on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
One of Israel’s major export items to the U.S. in 1981 was the Westwind 2 executive jet. The Westwind, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries is now selling in the U.S. at the rate of five per month, with each plane costing from $4 million to $6 million — Israel’s highest-priced export item.
Israel’s leadership in science-based industry was a major factor in its record export total for 1981. Israeli-made computer-aided design systems (CADS) by Scitex, CAT scanners by Elscint and precision tools by Iscar were major export items, but the range of Israeli products also included synagogue furniture (by Solcoor), swimwear (by Gottex) and Yehuda matzoth, imported by B. Manischewitz.