The Israel Calendar

FORUM SA Networking Israel
From the left: Trade attachee Mr. N. Christodoulidis, Ambassador Mr. K. Loukakis, and Mr. Cobi Bitton, CEO of the IGCCI.

After North Macedonia and Albania, Israel was Forum Team’s next stop in the context of the company’s Country Outlook.

Last year, Forum SA put together and started implementing a major plan, in the scope to further raise the international profile of the trade shows. The first two, very successful, trips to North Macedonia and Albania were followed by an equally fruitful trip, this time to Israel, which took place early summer 2023, with the aim of attracting potential hosted buyers and exhibitors for Forum’s trade shows.

Israel is a country with a high cost of living and high cost of products with pure packaging, while its market is segmented according to religion, making kosher certification a necessity for Greek companies aspiring to increase their exports towards this country. Among Israel’s major positive aspects is its stable, strong economy, the thriving innovation ecosystem and its position as a global leader in the number of startups it fosters.

This country with the special economic environment was the third stop of the company’s Country Outlook Program, headed, as the previous two, by Forum SA’s Director of the International Department, Mr. Filippos Papanastasiou, with the Hosted Buyers Coordinator, Ms. Christina Bonoti. The trip was organized by Forum’s close collaborator, the IGCCI (Israel Greek Chamber of Commerce & Industry). Given the opportunity, Forum would like to cordially thank the Chamber’s CEO, Mr Cobi Bitton and the Administrative Affairs Manager Mr. Dimitris Ziagas, who oversaw every detail of our trip and facilitated greatly the meetings.

The Golden period of Athens-Jerusalem relations

During their stay in Israel, the Forum Team members held a very important meeting with the Greek Ambassador Kyriakos Loukakis, and the trade attachees Mr. Nicolaos Christodoulidis and Mr. Vasilis Liveris, who outlined the specifics of the multi-layered Greek-Israeli cooperation, and the further forging of this relation.

Following, there was the meeting with the Deputy Director of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce Mrs Sharon Mermelstein and the Sales Manager Mrs Danielle Rubinstein. The Tel Aviv and Central Chamber of Commerce, established in 1919, is a public, non-political, independent and non-profit organization, the largest organization of businesses and employers in Israel that works towards promoting market economy and free competition, international trade relations, reducing the costs imposed on the business sector by the absolute monopolies owned by the state etc.

During their stay, the Forum Team met with Mr Avi Ravid, the owner of Victory Supermarket, a chain of 58 supermarket stores with 5 branches only within the city of Tel Aviv, active six days a week and careful to sell only kosher products, Mr Haim Termin, Marketing Director of Avramento Logistic Warehouse, a delicatessen store that imports directly from Greece and Turkiye.

Mr Khaled Zarubi, the CEO of Zarubi Company which produces, packages and brands spices, roasted and natural crackers, dried fruits and candies, and distributes both domestically and internationally, and last, but not least, the people from Schestowitz Company, CEO Mr. Guy Schestowitz and Export Manager Mr. Dror Shiloh. Schestowitz is one of the leading companies in the field of import, marketing, and distribution of consumer products of more than 50 international brands.

Growing potential

Foreign trade is conducted with countries on all five continents. About 54% of imports and 33% of exports are with the European Union (especially Italy), with Turkiye and with the US, with which Israel does 17% of its imports and 40% of its exports. It imports cereals, sugar, fuel, and industrial goods. Greece is one of the countries Israel imports from. In 2021, Greece exported $1.27 bn. to Israel. The main products exported from Greece to Israel were refined petroleum ($255 m.), hot-rolled iron bars ($195 mil.), and insulated wire ($157 mil.). During the last 26 years the exports of Greece to Israel have increased at an annualized rate of 8.38%, from $156 mil. in 1995 to $1.27 bn. in 2021.

According to ELSTAT data for 2022, Greece’s exports to Israel increased significantly by 54.9% compared to 2021 (23. 5% increase, excluding petroleum products). In more detail, in 2022 Greek exports to Israel amounted to EUR 850 mil. compared to EUR 548.78 mil. in 2021 (EUR 543 mil. compared to EUR 439.5 mil. in 2021, excluding petroleum products), setting a record.

Israel Trivia

Population: 9,5 million citizens (Jewish & Arabs)
Borders: Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine.
Capital City: Jerusalem
Language: Hebrew & Arabic
Religion: Judaism
Culture: Presidential Parliamentary Democracy