New Israeli initiative aims to improve foreign trade

Director of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israel Ministry of Economy

Director of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israel Ministry of Economy, Ohad Cohen. (LinkedIn)

Stepping up efforts to become a leading force in the global import-export market, the ministry of economy launched a new website, Israel-Trade.Net.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Ministry of Economy announced on Wednesday the launch of a new internet portal that enables virtual information-sharing, allowing industrialists from around the world to network with Israeli Foreign Trade Administration (FTA) decision-makers.

Israel is one of the most open countries to international trade in the world, the Ministry stated, pointing to exports and imports that constitute two-thirds of the gross domestic product.

This fact underscores the tremendous impact that decisions on foreign-trade policy can have on the economy and even on day-to-day life. In light of the importance of international trade as well as the need to increase transparency in the Ministry of Economy’s decision-making process, entrepreneurs can now engage in dialogue with ministry officials on issues concerning foreign trade and investments via a new FTA website, Israel-Trade.Net.

FTA head Ohad Cohen noted that the administration is in constant contact and consultation with economic organizations such as the Israel Manufacturers Association, The Israeli Chamber of Commerce and the Israel Export Institute.

(Photo: shutterstock)

(Photo: shutterstock)

“Nevertheless, it is important to create additional mechanisms that will allow as many relevant parties in industry to be directly exposed to the issues in which the ministry is involved,” he explained. “The new platform allows decision-makers to be in direct dialogue with all parties in the country involved in industry and to remain attentive to their needs as they navigate the complex issues influencing the ongoing agenda of Israeli foreign trade. The ability to reach industrialists, hear new ideas and be directly exposed to their daily activities will help us deal with the complex challenges of the international trade network, where one must regularly exchange information to keep abreast of new developments.”

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Through this new platform, FTA officials seek to communicate with industrialists and examine the needs of the business community involved in international trade, as well as to examine the possible influence of different policy initiatives related to international trade on the local market.

The website will be dynamic and the issues discussed will change according to the activity of the FTA, the Ministry said in the statement.

Addressing Crucial Economic Issues

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (Flash90)

The website, which became operational over the past month, has already addressed crucial issues such as the free trade agreement between Israel and Panama, a new trade agreement canceling customs on products which contribute to the environment, and appropriate business conduct throughout the supply network in the field of agriculture.

The Ministry announced last month that 2014 ended on a positive note on all of Israel’s foreign trade indices. Israel’s foreign trade, both imports and exports, grew significantly despite Operation Protective Edge, which occurred in the summer.

The FTA is the government authority entrusted with formulating and leading Israel’s foreign trade policy. The administration aims at increasing the competitiveness of Israeli industry internationally by highlighting innovation, creativity and originality as hallmarks of the Israeli economy. The FTA is responsible for Israel’s trade policy vis-a-vis other global economies and is in charge of formulating cooperation and free trade agreements.

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The FTA operates a network of 41 trade attachés in financial capitals around the world to help Israeli companies interested in penetrating these foreign markets. In addition, the FTA assists exporters with funding and subsidies.