Most Israeli exporters are unconcerned about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement's calls for action against investment in and trade with Israel. A survey conducted by the <a href=http://www.ashra.gov.il/eng target=new>Israel Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation</a> (ASHR'A) found that only 6.6% of large and medium-sized exporters were alarmed by international efforts to boycott products from Israel.
According to the survey, only 1% of exporters believe that the government should help them because of recent terrorist attacks in Europe. The survey, carried out by the Sarid Institute among 150 exporters over the past two weeks, shows that 42.6% of exporters believe that the most urgent issue requiring attention from the government and economic leaders is the exchange rate of the shekel against the dollar and the euro.
The exporters' responses indicate that they do not expect the shekel to weaken against the dollar and the euro in 2016. 64% believe that the shekel-dollar rate will continue to range between NIS 3.80/$ and NIS 4.10/$. 51.1% of exporters believe that the shekel will hold its ground or strengthen against the euro during the coming year, with a rate of NIS 4.30/€ to NIS 4.40/€ being predicted.
40% of the respondents expect oil prices to be in the $30-$50 range. According to ASHR'A CEO Tzahi Malah, "The sustained drop in oil prices requires Israeli exporters to make preparations in order to protect themselves in case prices continue to fall.
"Each exporter must reconsider his business in various countries, particularly in countries expected to suffer severely from lower oil prices. These countries are not necessarily large oil exporters. In many cases, it the oil exporters' neighbors that are involved because of their trade with the oil exporters, or small exporters like Bolivia, most of whose economy is based on oil."
In the survey, the full results of which will be presented at the export conference to be held by ASHR'A next week, over half of the exporters said they wanted to expand their business to Asia and Africa. 25.7% believe that Asia is the most attractive market in considering possible export expansion, and a similar proportion say they regard Africa as an attractive market.
Malah added, "The era in which the Israeli exporter was oriented towards Europe and the US is nearing an end." He said that government ministries were acting to provide assistance through foreign trade risk insurance to exporters seeking to penetrate markets such as Asia and Africa: "As of now, more than 90% of the ASHR'A's insurance portfolio consists of deals in Asia and Africa. The biggest potential for Israeli export growth is in Africa."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 28, 2016
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