Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Israel’s exports in 2021 superseded all forecasts and concluded with an unprecedented volume of $143 billion, the Ministry of Economy and Industry announced Thursday.

The analysis of the data reflects an all-time record in exports and trade, beyond the most optimistic forecasts of the Foreign Trade Administration (FTA).

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The FTA recorded a 25% increase in relation to the volume of exports in 2020.

For the first time, the exports of services exceed the exports of goods. There was also a significant increase of 17% in merchandise exports, an unprecedented 34% increase in services exports, and after years, a whopping 71% growth in diamond exports.

Minister of Economy and Industry Orna Barbivai stated that the high export figures are “a testament to the resilience and strength of Israeli industry, which often faces security challenges, supply chain difficulties, port congestion and rising production inputs.”

The Ministry of Economy noted that the data are also exceptional compared to the period before the Coronavirus pandemic when the peak of exports was in 2019 and stood at about $117.5 billion.

The Foreign Trade Administration pointed out that the composition of exports in 2021 is also an important landmark since the export of services, for the first time, exceeded the export of goods and constitutes 52% of Israeli exports compared to 48% of exports of goods.

“This is a particularly high figure even in comparison with developed countries, a testament to the evolution that the Israeli economy is undergoing with the centrality of the service sectors and in particular exports, in which the high-tech centrality is gaining momentum,” the FTA said.

As an example, the Israeli Cyber Security industry continued its growth trend in 2021 and set new records in every field, a report by the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) shows.

The data shows that in comparison with 2020, the number of funds raised by the Israeli cyber security industry tripled and reached the record amount of approximately $8.8 billion in over 100 different deals.

Additional records were set in overall cyber exports and in the four Israeli companies that entered the billion-dollar Unicorn club with a worth of over $1 billion each. One out of every three cyber security unicorns in the world is an Israeli company.

Of note, Israeli exports to Morocco leaped by 192% in 2021, an apparent outcome of the signing of the Abraham Accords a year ago. Israeli exports increased to about $140 billion in 2021 and hit a record high, an increase of close to 20% compared to about $114.3 billion in 2020.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.