Israel Builds Trade Gateway to Arab World

(Reuters) Ari Rabinovitch and Tova Cohen - A Turkish freighter carries 37 trucks to the Israeli port of Haifa, bringing goods from Europe to customers in Jordan and beyond. According to numerous international businessmen, goods continue from Jordan into Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Until three years ago these trucks would have come through Syria, but the civil war has made that journey too perilous. The number of trucks crossing between Israel and Jordan has jumped some 300% since 2011, to 10,589 a year. Transit containers shipped to Israel from Turkey for passage on to other countries increased to 77,337 tons in 2013 from 17,882 tons in 2010. "Israel is returning to its historic role, as a transit country, as a bridge between continents, where historic trade routes passed through," said Yael Ravia-Zadok, head of the Middle Eastern Economic Affairs Bureau in Israel's Foreign Ministry. Israel has "not even begun to scratch at the potential."

2014-07-04 00:00:00

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