PM: Forget Europe, We’re Doing Business with Asia

January 18, 2015  

With the International Criminal Court opening an investigation against Israel and anti-Semitic incidents becoming more frequent, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suggested Sunday that Israeli businesspeople change their focus from Western Europe to other areas. Such a change, he said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, would be an appropriate response to the ongoing “Islamization” and “anti-Zionist” positions countries in Europe are espousing, he said.

Instead, he said, Israel should concentrate its efforts on developing markets in the East – like in Japan, where Israeli companies were welcome, as evidenced by the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a visit that began Sunday. “I am emphasizing markets in the East not in order to give up other markets, but we specifically want to reduce our dependence on certain markets in Western Europe,” Netanyahu said Sunday.

“Western Europe is undergoing a wave of Islamization, there is anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. We want to secure the future of Israel, by developing a variety of markets around the world,” Netanyahu added.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel imported NIS 70.1 billion of goods and services from the European Union between January and November of 2014, and exported NIS 49.9 billion there. During that period, imports from Asia were NIS 44.1 billion, while exports were NIS 31.7 billion.

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