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April 28, 2014 10:21 am
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Israel to Open Trade Attache Offices in Asia, Africa, South America

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: WikiCommons.

Israel’s Economy Ministry, headed by Jewish Home Leader Naftali Bennett, will open more trade attaché offices in Asia, Africa, and South America, according to Foreign Trade Administration director Ohad Cohen on Monday.

In an interview, Cohen told Israeli business daily Globes that the map of a country’s trade attaché offices should follow the growth of its trade balance.

In 2014, Asia became Israel’s second-largest trading region, behind the EU and ahead of the United States. For 2018, Israel forecasts Asia buying 24.5% of its exports, the U.S. 20.3% and European Union 40%.

“Six years ago, we were in a completely different place in terms of our activity in Asia,” Cohen said. “Then, we had just two economic attaches in China and India, in Beijing and New Delhi.”

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“Today we have five offices in China, three in India, and we have added [an] attache in Vietnam and an office in Manila, which is examining business and trade opportunities with the Philippines,” Cohen said. “It is a large country that is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years, and we really want to be there.”

By 2060, exports to India and China will account for at least 46% of global GDP, Cohen said. “That is nearly half of global GDP concentrated in two markets, and the objective is to adapt Israel to this expansion,” he said.

While Europe remains Israel’s largest trading partner, Israel has closed trade attaché offices in Austria, Hungary, Finland and Sweden, and used the resources for growth, opening new offices in Colombia, South Africa and Kenya. Chile and Nigeria will be added to the list soon.

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