Israel seeks to increase penetration of Japanese market, while Japan wants Israeli technology and expertise.
At its weekly meeting on Sunday, the cabinet approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s program to strengthen economic ties with Japan. The plan is quite comprehensive, involving several areas of government and the investment of tens of millions of shekels over the next three years.
The goal is to realize the full potential of the Israeli economy by identifying areas of common interest between both countries.
This proposal comes on the heels of a significant warming of relations between Israel and Japan. Netanyahu had visited Japan this past May, and in July, the Japanese economy minister led a delegation of industrialists on a visit to Israel.
The increased cooperation spells several advantages to the Israeli economy. By increasing exports to Japan, which in and of itself would be an important goal, it increases the ability of Israeli small- and medium-sized businesses to penetrate the Japanese market.
Israel’s goal is “to increase exports to Japan by 50% by 2020 such that exports will amount to approximately $1.1 billion per annum,” the Government Press Office stated. “An additional government target is to increase the number of Israeli exporters to Japan, which export over $500,000 per annum to 33% by 2020, i.e. that there will be over 210 such exporters.”
Seeking Israeli Expertise in Technology
The Japanese market is seeking Israeli technologies and know-how. This interest, it is hoped, will facilitate the development of unrealized market potential in several fields.
“The State of Israel must vary the markets in which we are active,” Netanyahu said. “In the last two years, I have met with the leaders of China, Japan and India as part of a comprehensive policy of turning to major markets, including Latin America and Africa.”
By Penina Taylor, United with Israel