JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli exports are expected to reach a record of at least $120 billion in 2021 after $114 billion in 2020, boosted by continued strength in high-tech exports, the Economy Ministry estimated on Monday.
The ministry said that after a 1.5% decline last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a fall that was modest compared to most other developed countries, exports have done well so far this year, with goods exports up 2% and services exports up 15%.
Software and computers services, which make up most of high-tech exports, are up more than 20% so far in 2021, the ministry said.
Service exports rose 11.6% in 2020 to $43.4 billion and have risen an average of 13% a year since 2016.
“The high-tech sector is the most significant source of export growth for Israeli exports in recent years and especially in the year of the coronavirus crisis. This trend is expected to continue and even strengthen in the coming year,” the ministry said.
High tech is a key economic growth driver for Israel, accounting for some 12% of economic output and 10% of the country’s labour force. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a former tech executive, has set a target of raising the tech workforce to 15% by 2026.
“We will bring as many people as possible into the high-tech industry, where there are higher salaries,” he said earlier this month.
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