The Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, 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 the markets abroad.
· 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.
The Administration is composed of three units:
· The International Branch
· The Export Promotion Branch
· The Investments Promotion Staff
The International Branch
The International Branch is responsible for promoting and maintaining international agreements. The Branch is divided into three departments:
· The Department for Multi-Lateral Agreements – which leads the activity opposite the organizations shaping the policy and trade rules in the world today, such as the WTO. The developments in the organizations and Israel’s active participation in those processes, actually dictate the pace of progress and participation of Israel in the world globalization processes, which eventually enable Israel to improve and expand its trade possibilities.
· The Department for Bi-Lateral Agreements – which negotiates new trade agreements of the state of Israel, with the objective of preventing the discrimination of the local industry and securing our position in the various markets. The Department deals with the continuous handling of these agreements, in order to preserve the rights achieved for the Israeli industry.
· The Department for Import Policy and OECD – the Department deals with the formalization of the policy of import to Israel and with simplification of foreign trade procedures. In addition, the department deals with representing Israel in the OECD – the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.
The Branch is responsible for promoting the export and operating the representative offices abroad. For that purpose it is divided into regional desks which operate a chain of professional commercial attachés around the world. The geographic desks include the following areas: Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa, North America, Asia-Oceania, the Middle East and North Africa.
The activity includes, among other things, the following activities:
· Operating the economic representatives’ arrangement.
· Setting policy and priorities for the activity in the countries.
· Promoting the economic and trade relations with the countries under its responsibility.
· Organizing and handling business and/or governmental delegations to the country and from it.
· Supervising and controlling activity, personnel and budgets of the economic representative office.
· Issuing publicity material for distribution abroad, for presenting the economic-industrial potential of Israel.
· Preparing regional and branch surveys for the use of the exporters.
· Hosting foreign journalists in Israel and accompanying them through their visit in the industry.
· Conducting seminars and meetings with businessmen in Israel and abroad.
· Participating in commercial exhibitions of the field around the world.
Alongside the geographic departments there are also the Foreign Relations and Official Guests Department, as well as the Department for Foreign Trade Budgets and Export Registration.
In the Administration there is also the Trade Levies Unit. Its role is to protect local production against substantial injury caused by competing imports and/or dumped imports and preventing damage to the field by imposing trade levies.
The Investment Promotion Center
The Investment Promotion Center is a body responsible for attracting and handling foreign direct investments to Israel. The issue of FDI – foreign direct investments is identified nowadays as one of the major promoters for growth of economies in general and of small countries in particular. The globalization of production and development of products in places with technological advantage cause the tightening of the connection between international investments and international trade. Israel is known as a place in which universal breakthroughs take place. Those breakthroughs constitute the driving force for the creation of success stories of a global magnitude and a source for profit.
The main target of the Center is – enhancing the extent of foreign direct investments to Israel.
The goals and objectives of the center are:
· Promoting investments of multi-national companies.
· Establishing a mechanism and chain of partners for handling foreign investors.
· Individually and continually accompanying foreign investors.
· Establishing infrastructure in the fields of publicity and information.
· Promoting the brand-name “ Israel ” around the world.
· Representing Israel in international organizations for investments promotion.
· Regularly assisting in setting the Ministry’s policy in the field of investments.
· Assisting in adjusting the Ministry’s tools for the encouragement of foreign investments.
The Center is responsible for issuing the following publicity material and information tools:
· An internet site to constitute an entry gate for foreign investors.
· A publicity film “why Israel ?” which describes investments in the country and the business potential existing in it.
· Designated content file for investors.
· Presenting success stories of foreign investors and investments in Israel.
· A presentation – “Invest in Israel”: investing in Israel and the business potential existing in it.
· Issuing information regarding the various industries, in cooperation with external bodies.
· Israeli success stories – Israeli global companies which achieved special success in the international arena.
· Israeli breakthroughs – Israeli products and developments which changed the world.
· A presentation for promoting the establishment of development centers of multi-national companies in Israel.
· Israel: facts and figures.