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Trade deficit down by 14 percent for Israel in 2023, country's exports and imports fall; all you need to know

Israel's economy is facing a temporary crisis as its imports and exports have significantly fallen in 2023 compared to 2022. The latest data believes the economic numbers fell because of Israel's myopic focus on the war against Hamas. The state machinery is heavily involved on that front.

Trade deficit down by 14 percent for Israel in 2023, country's exports and imports fall; all you need to know avv
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First Published Jan 15, 2024, 3:57 PM IST

The latest data released by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (BCS) has painted a grim picture of the nation’s business output for 2023. Israel's exports fell by huge numbers after the war in the Gaza Strip against Hamas. Overall, the import percentage was also affected as most of the time and resources of the state machinery were spent on the conflict against non-state actors. 

The trade deficit of Israel's overall business dealings in 2023 rose by 14 percent which has caused concern in Jerusalem. The exports of goods decreased by 2.4 percent while exports of medium-low technology industries hit by 9.1 percent. The fresh data from the fourth quarter (annual rates) suggest a decrease in Israel's specialized industry of high technology by 6.8 percent.

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The Middle Eastern nation is known for its high technology output due to state-of-the-art research and development institutes. However, this happened because the state under emergency circumstances was keen to keep hold off and divert high technology output to its efforts against Hamas. Israel’s defense industry decreased its output significantly.

Economy Minister Nir Barkat has rebuffed any concern towards the Israeli economy as he is confident of a strong comeback after the war is over. The far-right leader has also been in the news for criticizing his own government’s policy. Nir Barkat expressed concern over the new policies against the Hamas group in Gaza.

Nir Barkat said, “I am concerned. To my disappointment, we are too benevolent and too considerate. It is unacceptable that we endanger our soldiers and send them, exposed, into all manner of buildings that we have not bombed beforehand. 

Giving in to every external pressure, even to our best friends, is a serious error for which we pay heavily. Our responsibility as the government of Israel is first and foremost to care for Israel's essential interests. We must not give in to any pressure.”

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