Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor
30 Agron St.
P.O. Box 299, 91002 Jerusalem
Tel. (02) 6220220
Fax. (02) 6245110
Investment Promotion Center(English)
Center of Incubators for Technological Initiative(English)
Economic and Trade Representatives Abroad
Functions and Structure
The Ministry of Industry and Trade implements government policy in several
major economic domains. Within these parameters, the Ministry pursues
various goals that may be summarized as follows:
Developing and consolidating efficient, profitable industry
of contributing to economic growth, increasing national product
industrial exports), furthering economic progress, and integrating
economy into that of the developed world.
Developing Israel's foreign trade by consolidating international
economic relations through membership in economic organizations and
international customs agreements, and by monitoring changes in
trade. Such activities are designed to promote exports, reduce imports,
improve the balance of payments.
Improving trade and marketing methods, promoting the establishment of
large, modern retail chains.
Ensuring consumer protection and well-being through legislation,
Ministry intervention, and encouragement of consumers' organizations.
Ensuring regular and emergency supplies of vital basic food
at controlled prices.
Dispersing the population and developing economic infrastructure in
The Ministry's organizational structure takes account of the need to
the aforementioned goals through the efficient use of resources. The
Ministry is composed of professional offices assisted by staff and service
units. The professional offices are the Food Division; the Metal,
and Electronics Industries Division; the Chemical and Mineral Division;
Textile and Light Industry Division; the Diamonds and Precious Stones
Department; the Commerce, Artisanship, and Small Industries Department;
Consumer Division; the Government Trade Administration; and Israeli Film
Promotion. The staff units are the Investments Center; the Financial Aid
Government Corporations Administration; the Foreign Trade Administration;
the Office of the Chief Scientist and Research Administration; Planning
Economy; Development Areas; Economic Information Systems; the Israel Fibre
Institute; and the National Physics Laboratory. Several institutions,
corporations, and research agencies are organizationally affiliated with
Ministry; they operate under full or partial Ministry auspices, and
employees are appointed to their boards.
The head office professional and staff units discharge their duties
regional offices that function as the Ministry's executive agencies in the
field, handle liaison between citizens and Ministry authorities, and
the best possible service on site.
A committee examined the performance of the Ministry's regional offices
intent to find ways of improving the efficiency and efficacy of their
services. The regional offices are girding for the concerted, planned
implementation of the committee's recommendations.
The Foreign Trade Administration sets and implements
Israel's foreign trade policy, with primary emphasis on promoting Israeli
exports and penetrating export markets. The administration is responsible
for FTA (free trade area) negotiations with the European Communities and
United States, for administering such agreements, for multilateral GATT
negotiations, and for setting import and export policy in keeping with
agreements with intent to improve access to foreign markets.
The administration also attends to all aspects of foreign trade relations
and export promotion. Some of these activities, meant to improve Israeli
access to foreign markets, are carried out abroad by the Ministry's
commercial attachs, who are at the service of all exporters.
Export promotion and finance is a cardinal Ministry objective and a
cornerstone of government economic policy. The export process may be
promoted at two stages: manufacturing and marketing.
Manufacturing: Export promotion at this stage is conducted by
of a foreign-exchange fund that dispenses loans.
Marketing: Several marketing funds complement the support given
earlier stages. The best-known is the Export Shipment Fund, through which
exporters obtain credit on international market terms. The Export
Fund furthers Israeli firms' overseas sales promotion efforts, including
export companies embracing several small and start-up enterprises.
The Israel Export Institute is a public nonprofit
organization that provides information and instruction at symbolic fees
exporters and manufacturers trying to break into export markets. The
Institute organizes exhibitions abroad and sponsors other overseas
activities to promote exports. Ministry-recognized export companies
grants equivalent to 2.5% of turnover.
The Investments Center is enabled by the Encouragement of
Capital Investment Law (ECIL) and pursues the objectives of this
legislation: development of production capacity, efficient utilization of
economic resources and capabilities, and full use of existing plants'
production capacity; improvement of the balance of payments by reducing
imports and increasing exports; immigrant absorption and planned
of the population throughout the country; job creation; and implementation
of government policy for the promotion of industry in development
The metals and electronics industries have been industry leaders in
equipment and R&D investments. Electronics alone account for 50% of
investments in industrial R&D. Massive investments in production
R&D, and new technologies and manufacturing methods have triggered
far-reaching developments in production and quality with no increase in
Below are the five subsectors of the metals and electronics industries:
Basic Metals: The smallest of the subsectors, constituting 7% of
these industries, is composed of relatively conservative businesses that
manufacture chiefly for construction and infrastructure. Among its
are pipes; steel, aluminum, and brass sections; structural steel; wire;
nails; screws; mesh; fences; electrodes; doors; windows; metal shutters;
foundry products and wrought metals. Output was down 6% in 1989; a sharp
downturn in the first half of the year was followed by the beginnings of a
recovery triggered by the onset of large-scale immigration.
Metal Products include consumer goods (cutlery, pots, fans, refrigerators,
ovens, air conditioners, razor blades), industrial and agricultural
instruments and implements (cutting tools for metal and wood, sharpening
stones, faucets, valves, piping accessories, and sprinklers), and
Machinery: This subsector embraces small and medium-sized firms
that supply machinery and equipment to other industries - especially
chemicals, petrochemicals, food, and metals - and to agriculture and
Electrical Equipment, Electronics, and Software: This subsector
been the industrial growth leader from the late 1960s. Growth was
driven by increased defense consumption; since the mid-1970s, exports have
been the major factor in growth.
Transport Vehicles: This subsector includes the manufacture of
spare parts; manufacture of frames and chassis for military vehicles,
tankers, trailers, dump trucks, garbage disposal equipment, and buses; and
repair and manufacture of boats. The central component in production,
however, is the manufacturing of aviation components, systems, and craft.
Since the aviation industry exercises great influence on the subsector,
since aviation projects are generally long-term, sales to both domestic
export markets tend to fluctuate considerably.
Consumer Services and Price Controls: The Consumer
Department implements consumer-protection laws for which the Ministry is
responsible, e.g., the Commodities and Services Price Control Law, the
Consumer Protection Law, and the Weights and Measures Ordinance. The
department's subagencies provide consumer services and protect local
products. The public is increasingly consumerism-conscious, filing
of complaints during the year with the Ministry, the Consumer Council, and
various consumer organizations; these agencies did their best to help
consumers by contacting suppliers and giving advice. In many cases
offenses were discovered, criminal files opened, investigations
and charges brought.
Consumer legislation continues to advance. The Consumer Protection Law
5741-1981 was amended for the first time in May, 1988, after which the
Knesset Finance Committee debated legislation restricting advertising
at minors. Thus far, regulations based on this law have been issued
regarding product labelling, credit sales, special and door-to-door sales,
calculation of per-annum interest rates, reasons for cancelling sales of
spare parts, and the details that must appear in contracts connected with
The Office of the Chief Scientist promotes industrial R&D
and, consequently, increased industrial exports. Israel's abundance of
high-quality manpower warrants a national strategy for the development of
high-tech industry. Recent years' experience, however, shows that R&D
attain commercial success in the absence of marketing and business
endeavors. Hence the Office emphasizes its inquiries about the marketing
business aspects of the programs filed with it. The development of modern
Israeli industry may also ease the absorption of scientists and engineers
immigrants and non-immigrants alike.
The Chief Scientist, the Minister's advisor on industrial R&D and his
representative in relevant scientific and technological activities in
and overseas, helps shape Ministry policy in this field. The office
Ministry policy in industrial R&D disciplines and subjects, and helps give
industry a strong "push" in the desired direction.
Assistance from the Office of the Chief Scientist is not limited to R&D;
has expanded in recent years to include market feasibility studies and,
regard to start-up firms, the transition from R&D to sales. The goal of
transition stage is to help companies produce prototypes for selected
soliciting feedback that affects the final coalescence of the product. In
keeping with recent decisions, the office will soon introduce additional
support programs for technological incubators and centers of excellence in
research institutes, and will help immigrant scientists find jobs in
Diamonds: All diamond output is earmarked for export. The
diamond industry is composed of some 700 production facilities, most of
which are small workshops with an average of 10-20 employees. (Only 15
diamond firms have more than 100 employees.) Most commercial activity
place at the Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan.
The Israel Film Center promotes the film industry by
supporting the development of film-production infrastructure and
facilitating production by Israeli firms and visiting foreign
The Quality Israeli Film Promotion Fund was established in 1989 in
conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Fund's primary
objective is to encourage Israeli companies to produce feature-length
that will improve the caliber and quality of Israeli films as well as the
marketing and distribution possibilities of such films in Israel and
Sources: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs