The Israeli Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy, is responsible for managing and directing the international trade policy of the State of Israel. The main fields of activity include activities for the promotion of trade and export, initiating and maintaining trade agreements for the improvement of Israel’s trade conditions, attracting and encouraging foreign investments and creating strategic cooperations with foreign companies. Together with the activity in Israel, the Administration operates a network of economic representatives who constitute the operational arm of the Ministry in markets around the world.
- Assisting the Israeli industry in deepening the activity in existing markets, and penetrating new markets.
- Accompanying and supporting the individual exporter in the marketing activity abroad.
- Initiating and applying international trade agreements and maintaining existing agreements.
- Raising investments and strategic cooperations.
- Improving the image of the Israeli industry and economy.
- Preventing unfair competition – dumping
Israel has a technologically advanced market economy. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment and pharmaceuticals are among the leading exports of the country. Its major imports include crude oil, grains and raw materials. Israeli GDP growth averaged nearly 5% per year between 2004 and 2011, led by exports.
The global financial crisis of 2008-09 spurred a brief recession in Israel, but the country entered the crisis with solid fundamentals, following years of prudent fiscal policy and a resilient banking sector. In 2010, Israel formally acceded to the OECD. Israel’s economy also has weathered the Arab Spring due to strong trade ties outside the Middle East, which have insulated the economy from spillover effects.
The economy has recovered better than most advanced economies of similar size, but slowing demand (both domestically and internationally) and a strong Shekel have reduced forecasts of Israel’s GDP growth for the next decade to a 3% level.
Natural gas fields discovered off Israel’s coast have brightened Israel’s energy security outlook. The Tamar and Leviathan fields were some of the world’s largest offshore natural gas finds this past decade. The massive Leviathan field is not due to come online until 2018, but production from Tamar provided a one percentage point boost to
Israel’s GDP in 2013 and 0.3% growth in 2014.
Israel’s progressive, globally competitive, knowledgebased technology sector employs only 9% of the workforce, with the rest employed in manufacturing and services sectors, which both face downward wage pressures from global competition.
General information on Israeli-Belgian trade in 2014 (numbers provided by the National Bank of Belgium):
Import incl Diamonds
Import excl Diamonds
Export Incl Diamonds
Export excl Diamonds
€1 921.2 million
€ 812.5 million
€ 1 094.8 million
€ 261.5 million
Main sectors of Israeli Export to Belgium (excl Diamond):
Main sectors of Israeli Import from Belgium (excl Diamond):
Israeli economy overview
Israel’s large concentration of talented and innovative people makes it an ideal place for investment. Characterized by groundbreaking entrepreneurship, Israel yields pioneering technologies, profitable business opportunities and high investment returns. This is why Israel is an attractive partner for so many major multi-nationals; Microsoft, Berkshire-Hathaway, Motorola, Intel, HP, Siemens, GE, IBM, Philips, Lucent, AOL, Cisco, Applied Materials, IBM, J&J and more.
1st in R&D investments
Israel invests nearly 5% of its GDP in R&D, which is the highest ratio in the world.
Disk-on-key technology, IP Telephony, Zip compression, the ingestible pill size camera, modern drip-irrigation technology, ICQ instant messenger and many more were all Israeli breakthroughs.
Israelhas the largest number of companies listed on the NASDAQ outside of the United States and approximately 70 Israeli companies are traded on various European exchanges.
Israel’s most important Business Sectors
Fourth in the world in biotechnology patents per capita, Israel not only has the talent to innovate, but the skills to transform technology into successful enterprise. A generous government incentives program is a major factor for pushing progress forward.
Since its founding,Israel has been coping with water scarcity and has been treating the subject as a national priority. The country has been constantly developing novel and efficient water technologies, which can benefit the world as it is increasingly dealing with water scarcity concerns due to global warming. Israel’s success in answering the country’s water needs stems from its ability to incorporate an extensive variety of solutions under multiple constrains.
In the past decade, Israel has emerged as a leading supplier for the global telecommunications industry. Producing cutting-edge, innovative technologies, Israeli communications companies continue to attract top-tier institutional investors, raising a tremendous $88 million from venture capitalists in 2004.
As a top national priority, Homeland Security in Israel is more than just an exportable commodity. Israel’s self-reliance has created a diversified and cutting edge security industry, adding innovation to existing technologies as well as developing new ones. Israel today has earned its worldwide reputation for providing leading security solutions and continues to successfully partner with key world players to protect airports, seaports, government offices, financial institutions and recreational centers.
Israel has long been recognized as a leading force in the semiconductor industry. The semiconductor sector drives growth in many markets including microprocessors, data and voice communications, wireless, IP and networking communications, consumer, automotive, defense and more, representing prime opportunities for investment and cooperation.
Israel is one of the leading chemical-producing nations in the world, and chemicals are a primary export. The industry formally began at the beginning of last century, when efforts commenced to extract minerals from the Dead Sea. When the State was founded, the new government established several state-owned companies to mine the raw materials and process the derivatives.
General Information on Israeli economy can be found at the site of the World Economic Forum.