A joint committee of the Finance and Industry Ministries for increasing exports to East Asia, headed by Finance Ministry director general Haim Shani, has formed a program to strengthen Israel's trade ties with China and India.
China and India are Israel's two major destinations of exports in the east. Last year, the two countries recorded an impressive growth in exports.
Israel and China established diplomatic relations in 1992, and at that time the total trade between China and Israel stood at about $50 million. In 2001 the total trade amount was over $1 billion, and this year the total trade stands at $7 billion.
The volume of trade between Israel and India in 2009 was about $3 billion, of which about $1.8 billion was in exports and $1.2 billion in imports.
The three-year program was formulated by the joint committee after Prime Minister Netanyahu had instructed the Ministries of Finance and Industry to examine ways to increase exports to East Asia. The total investments through the program will be about 100 million shekels and it is intended to help realize the commercial potential in the Chinese and Indian markets.
The program aims to increase the number of Israeli exporters operating in markets in India and China, to diversify the composition of Israel's exports and to generate sustainable growth avenues that will strengthen the Israeli industry and increase its resilience in the face of the challenges it faces in coming years.
Israel’s Foreign Trade Policy includes the definition of China and India's as target countries for trade due to their rapid economic growth, which poses great opportunities for the Israeli economy and which constitutes an enormous potential for Israeli companies.
The Ministry of Industry, Labor and Trade conducted comprehensive consultations with representatives from the trade industry in recent months in order to build the program. The program is designed for SMEs who have proven excellence and innovation in their fields of activity.
Shani said of the program: “The plan presented today is the first component of a series of measures to support increasing trade with China and India and is coming out of a strategic economic grasp their place in the global economic map. Future steps will emphasize the relative advantages of Israel, in innovation, higher education and entrepreneurship.”