JERUSALEM, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Car imports have become Israel's leading import categories from China and contributed greatly to the increase of Israeli imports from China, an Israeli trade leader said.
Israeli imports of goods from China rose by 42.1 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2022, the country's Central Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.
From January to March, Israeli imports from China, excluding diamonds, totaled 3.41 billion U.S. dollars, compared to 2.4 billion dollars in the same period last year, according to the bureau.
Amir Shani, vice president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, told Xinhua that importing Chinese electric cars contributed greatly to the increase of Israeli imports from China.
Car imports have joined Israel's leading import categories from China, of electronics, textiles, furniture, and construction materials, he added.
"Israeli importers are attracted to the Chinese market because they know they will get quality products at fair prices," Shani explained.
He estimated that import figures would climb even further due to expectations of a decrease in shipping and logistics costs, which rose significantly during the coronavirus crisis.
"A possible successful conclusion of the negotiations between China and Israel on a free trade agreement will further raise the import figures," he noted.
Israeli exports to China in the first quarter amounted to 1.18 billion dollars, almost unchanged compared to the same quarter last year.
Total Israeli imports reached 25.2 billion dollars in the first quarter, an increase of 28.8 percent year on year, while Israeli exports totaled 14.6 billion dollars, a rise of 20.7 percent. ■