Israeli exports of services and goods are forecast to break another annual record in 2019 as full-year revenues climb toward $114 billion, the Foreign Trade Administration said on Monday.
The predicted export value represents a 4.5% increase compared to 2018, and some 68% higher than 2009, when Israeli exports totaled approximately $67.7b. Over the past decade, exports have increased by an annual average of 5.3%.
The hefty increase during the past 10 years has been fueled by soaring exports of services, notably hi-tech exports. Service exports have soared by a staggering 160%, from $21.5b. in 2009 to almost $56b. in 2019. This year alone, service exports have increased by approximately 11.7%. Service exports represented approximately 49% of all exports in 2019, versus only 32% a decade ago.
“The export data for the past decade is proof of the good health of the Israeli economy,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen. “Israeli exports are of great importance to the Israeli economy, it is the driver of economic growth and a central source of stable employment, and economic and social prosperity.”
Recent years have seen significant changes in the destination of exports. Total exports (excluding diamonds) to Asian countries grew from 18% in 2009 to 22% in 2019, driven by a huge 402% leap in exports to China over the past decade. Exports to Japan and Taiwan also increased by 73% and 38% respectively.
Significant growth was also recorded in Latin America, where exports grew by more than 40% or approximately $584m. over the past decade. The Latin American region currently constitutes the destination for approximately 5% of all non-diamond exports.
After China, the greatest decade-long increases in exports were registered in the United Kingdom (286%), Poland (162%), Japan (73%), Turkey (66%) and Brazil (61%).
“The data shows a leap in Israeli exports in the past decade – a leap that made a significant contribution to strengthening the Israeli economy, and strengthening Israeli industry and business,” said Ohad Cohen, head of the Foreign Trade Administration.
“We will continue over the next decade to promote Israeli exports, promote foreign investment and help Israeli exports and the Israeli economy to reach new heights.”
Contributing to the growth of exports, Israel has concluded seven new free trade agreements over the past decade, doubling the number of agreements in place in 2009. Agreements have been signed with countries including Canada, Ukraine, Colombia and, earlier this year, South Korea.
The Foreign Trade Administration is currently in negotiations to secure agreements with a list of major trading partners, including China, Russia, Vietnam and Kazakhstan.
Read more: The Jerusalem Post