ISRAEL'S DRUG EXPORTS SEEN SURGING
According to official statistics, Israel's total exports of chemicals and pharmaceuticals were 14% higher year-on-year in the first half, reaching US$3.5bn. The strong performance was attributed to sector modernisation and a sustained overseas marketing drive.
The European Union (EU) was the main destination for exports in the period, accounting for 40% of exports (US$1.4bn), followed by the US with 30% (US$1bn) and Asia with a 10% share (US$350mn). Exports of drugs for human and veterinary use increased 45%, reaching US$958mn. Over 50% of drugs produced in Israel are exported, with the US gaining the lion's share of foreign sales.
Israel's drug exports are expected to continue growing, reflecting new investments in production by leading local manufacturers. The drug sector is fast developing its manufacturing prowess, and officials claim Israel's transport and shipping infrastructure is improving.
Drug imports are also on the rise, although these are yet to overtake exports. In the first two months of 2005, imports were up 15.7% on a year-on-year comparison. Healthcare awareness in the country is increasing, driving demand for newer medicines.