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    Israel to Redirect Exports to Asia Due to Recession in US, EU

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    Historically, the US and Europe have been Israel's largest trade partners but the country has recently started to intensify trade relations with China and India, which are experiencing more rapid growth than Western countries.

    MOSCOW, December 2 (Sputnik) – Israel is being drawn to fast-growing Asian markets to increase its exports as developed countries are still in recession as a consequence of the global crisis.

    Historically, the United States and Europe have been Israel's largest trade partners. Both of them purchase more than a half of the country's $90 billion in civilian exports, according to Israeli Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. At present, Israel is to a significant extent intensifying its exports to markets like China and India, which are experiencing more rapid growth than their Western counterparts.

    "We want to diversify. We think that looking decades forward, this is the best policy to have a wide diversification," Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett was quoted as saying by Bloomberg on Monday.

    In October, Israel's exports to Asia nearly equaled exports to the United States, each accounting for 23 percent, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics estimated.

    Fifteen years ago, the Asian market made up 13 to 14 percent of Israel's exports, Ohad Cohen, director of the Foreign Trade Administration at the country's Economy Ministry, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

    In May, the Israeli ministerial committee on China affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, set forth a plan to double bilateral trade with China to $5 billion annually within five years. In addition, the Israeli government declared it intended to allocate $14 million per year to back the program's implementation.

    As for New Delhi, talks between India and Israel to conclude an extensive free trade agreement (FTA) are still under way and are expected to be completed next year. It might double India-Israel trade to $10 billion in five years, Ambassador of Israel to India Alon Ushpiz told the Hindu newspaper in May.

    The scope of Israel's exports to Asia includes fertilizers, machinery, information technology, medical equipment, agricultural and water technologies.

    The European Union's economy grew by 0.8 percent in 2014 and the United States rebounded by 2.2 percent. Meanwhile, China's economy grew by 7.4 percent while in India, it grew by 5.6 percent, according to the IMF World Economic Outlook Survey.


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