The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute today reported a 6% rise in exports in the first half of 2017, with exports reaching $50 billion in the period.
The Export Institute's figures show that exports of goods, including diamonds, grew 4% to $29 billion in January-June. The institute attributed the rise in exports of goods to growth in industrial exports.
Exports of services jumped 8% in the first half of the year, which the institute attributed to rapid growth in exports of high-tech services and a rise in incoming tourism. Exports of services totaled $21 billion in January-June, mainly as a result of the rising trend in exports of computer and software services, which grew 12% to $6.8 billion - a third of all exports of services in the first half of the year. Exports of tourist services were up 16% to $3.2 billion in January-June.
Diamond exports dipped 3% to $4 billion in January-June, but the negative trend in agricultural exports in recent years came to a halt in the first half of the year, with the Export Institute citing some degree of recovery in this sector: agricultural exports totaled $765 million in the first half, 6.5% more than in the corresponding period last year.
Exports in the dominant industrial sectors, including drugs, chemicals and refined oil products, and electronic components, climbed 5%. Exports of chemicals and refined oil products reached $4.3 billion, 12% more than in the first half of 2016, and drug exports rose 10% to $3.7 billion. Exports of electronic components, however, plunged 20% in comparison with the corresponding period last year, offsetting the increases in the other sector.
Export Institute chairman Ramzi Gabbay said, "In our opinion, a significant recovery in exports of electronic components towards the end of the year and 2018 is likely. The trend in exports in all the other industrial sectors was positive in the early months of the year, with fine growth, compared with the corresponding period last year." Gabbay added that Israeli export figures for the January-June supported the $100 billion forecast for Israeli exports in 2017, which would be the first time that this figure has ever been achieved.
Commenting on the export figures, Minister of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said, "Increasing exports is a strategic goal of the Ministry of the Economy and Industry, because the export industries feature high productivity. We are continuing our efforts to attract international companies. With the help of incentives for exporters, we will cross the $100 billion mark, which is our annual export target."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on August 31, 2017
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