Israel’s economy minister wants to boost the Jewish state’s exports to the US over fivefold by the end of this decade.
In a statement issued as President Donald Trump began his official visit to Israel, Eli Cohen said that “one of our main goals is to increase Israeli exports to the US to more than $100 billion by 2020.”
In 2016, trade of goods between the US and Israel reached $27 billion — $17.6 billion of which consisted of Israeli exports to America. Trade of goods constitutes some 50 percent of economic activity between the two countries. Trading in services constitutes 19 percent, and investments make up the additional 31 percent, according to statistics from Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin pointed to his country’s economic successes — as well as the potential of Israeli-Palestinian business partnerships — in remarks during a joint appearance with Trump in Jerusalem on Monday.
“We can have here an oasis,” Rivlin said. “An international center of tourism; a Start-Up Land, ‘Silicon Valley from the Jordan to the Sea.’ But we must be sure that we don’t go to sleep with a dream, and wake up with a nightmare: with Iran, ISIS and Hamas, in our borders.”
American multinationals including Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Google, Motorola and IBM all maintain extensive research and product development centers in Israel. The defense sector is also a major growth area, comprising 14 percent of Israel’s annual exports.
A number of Israeli companies in the technology and security sectors saw their stocks rise sharply in the wake of Trump’s election, as markets anticipated growing trade with the US.
(C) 2017 . The Algemeiner . Ben Cohen