Government Extends Help to Beleaguered Exporters

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli government offered a helping hand on Tuesday to exporters whose business has suffered from the strong shekel, Globes reported.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Economy have initiated a program to mitigate risk and market failures, assistance in financing investments in foreign markets, expanding export markets, and creating sources and tools for growth capital for mid-sized companies.

The government will raise its foreign trade guarantees cap to NIS 13.3 billion from NIS 7.5 billion, which brings it on par with the OECD average (a 70% increase over three years), immediate approval of commercial risk insurance for deals to be given ASHRA — the Israel Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation, and the provision of government guarantees for medium-term foreign trade insurance.

A 50-million-shekel program is being created for up to 100 companies to boost exports by 50% by at least half of the participating companies.

“The slowdown in exports in recent months is worrying, and we are determined to stem it,” said Finance Minister Yair Lapid. “The program is intended, among other things, to remove barriers in order to strengthen exporters, increase Israeli exports, and extend them to new markets. Exports are the growth engine of the Israeli economy, and we must work hard to ensure that this engine continues to run.”

Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett added, “The government is reducing the risk exporters assume when they engage in business overseas. We’re talking about an important step that will help small and large businesses alike. It’s very hard to set the right exchange rate, but we know that we can and should help exporters reduce uncertainty and enable them to more easily reach foreign markets with less risk.”