Thursday, January 10, 2013


By Sherwin Pomerantz

The basic economic statistics for 2012 are now beginning to surface and it is clear that economically, in spite of the world’s financial doldrums, Israel did pretty well.

From 2009-2012 Israel experienced economic growth of 14.7%, well ahead of most OECD countries (e.g. US – 3.2%, Germany – 2.7%, Australia – 10.7%, Canada – 4.8%) and much better than the general decline in economic growth in Europe of 1.5%. Israel might have had even better results if not for the continued sabotaging of the natural gas line from Egypt which caused the country to replace that source of energy by purchasing fuel from more expensive suppliers. There is, of course, no telling ultimately what will happen with that situation, as much depends on how the political situation in Egypt evolves.

In 2012, Israel demonstrated economic growth of 3.3%, which was more than double the OECD average of 1.4%. The only two major economies of the world that did better than Israel were India, which saw 4.5% growth, and China which experienced 7.5% growth. Coupled with this growth was a decline in Israeli unemployment to 6.9%, also lower than the OECD average of 8%.

Where Israel really did well last year was in tourism. With 2.9 million tourists in 2012 the country set a new annual record and 2013 looks to be even better, given existing travel agency bookings. The single largest group of tourists came from the US, while other significant sources of tourism included Russia, France, Germany and Britain with a growing cadre of visitors from Asia. This will, no doubt, continue to improve as even countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations such as Malaysia, are now permitting their nationals to travel to Israel, especially for religious tourism.

The challenge for the country, of course, is to keep these numbers progressing in the positive direction and to leverage Israel’s position as the world’s second largest source of innovation so as to spur continued economic growth. For the moment, large firms worldwide continue their interest in growing their Israel operations. As examples, Google late last year opened a start-up incubator in Israel and Dutch giant Phillips has also announced the establishment of a new R&D center in the country.

All of this, of course, remains quite amazing in the face of continuing political distress among most of Israel’s neighbors which, in Syria’s case, has resulted in large scale fatalities as well. Israel’s added value is its depth of technological capability along with relative political and financial stability.

Ndudi Osakwe and Sherwin Pomerantz are associates on Doing Business In Israel. His company, EDI continues to encourage its clients and prospects to explore opportunities in Israel further, as the firm is uniquely positioned both to assist foreign entities to gain a foothold locally and to assist local companies to locate strategic partners overseas. 

For Nigeria-Israel business inquiry, look no further...reach us on

US ExIm continues support to its Firms selling to Nigeria

Ex-Im Approves $15.7 Million Direct Loan to Finance Export
of American-made Fire Trucks to Nigeria

Washington, D.C. – The board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a $15.7 million direct loan to the state government of Lagos, Nigeria, to underwrite the purchase of 32 American fire-fighting vehicles manufactured by W.S. Darley & Co. (Darley) of Itasca, Ill.

The loan, which is in line with the Administration’s “Doing Business in Africa Campaign,” will support approximately 100 U.S. jobs, according to bank estimates derived from Departments of Commerce and Labor data and methodology. Moreover, 65 percent of the financing is expected to support American small businesses.
“This transaction reflects our continued commitment to increasing exports to sub-Saharan Africa while supporting American small-business jobs,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “Additionally, the financing, which targets one of our nine key markets, ensures the government of Lagos can respond efficiently and effectively to emergency situations.”

The State of Lagos, which is home to Nigeria’s commercial center and largest city of the same name, plans to upgrade its fleet of fire-fighting vehicles. The governor of Lagos has declared that the expansion and re-equipping of the fire service is an urgent matter of state security.

Darley is a family-owned small business founded in 1908. The company, which has exported its products to foreign markets since the 1940s, designs and manufactures firefighting trucks, equipment, pumping, and safety gear.

“Darley Company is excited to have the opportunity to work with the Lagos Nigeria Fire Service on this important contract,” said Peter Darley, vice president of Darley. “This project was only possible because our customer was able to secure financing with the assistance of Ex-Im. As a small business, this type of support meant we were able to compete with other companies outside of the US for this business. Darley, as well as some of our key partner suppliers, will need to hire new employees so we can fulfill this order.” Darley’s Africa Representative, Trinity International Inc. of Potomac, Md., arranged the transaction. In FY 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $1.5 billion to support U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that creates and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from Fiscal Year 2008), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services (see

Our Office facilitates Ex-Im loans through our collaboration with Trade Credit Group (TCG) and the Espirito Santo Bank (ESB) and available to fast track assistance to Nigerian medium to large companies and Government Agencies that wish to buy USA. 

We can be reached by email on for more information.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is renown nationally for his passion for the development of the agricultural sector of the country. I recall an experience at the BRACED summit held in Asaba, Delta State where he would not yield to the ten minutes assigned to him by the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Ms Evelyn Oputu to make his presentation. He was widely applauded. I was present at the summit as an investment attraction consultant

Like the ebullient Minister for Agriculture, we believe that agriculture should move from its present level of subsistence to a level where modern techniques and technologies are employed in its practice, particularly in an environment as ours where agriculture is the major occupation of the people. As a matter of fact, engaging the youths, especially the educated and fresh graduates would drastically reduce the level of unemployment currently faced in the country.

In 2013 therefore, we have put together a program with the objective of exposing Nigerians interested in farming to modern technologies and methods of Agriculture; from cultivation to processing, post harvest, marketing and export. The program, it is hoped, will inspire them to become independent agricultural business owners.

Israel has been chosen for the study tours on the strength of the innovative agricultural practices that have earned the country a pride of place in the comity of nations, agriculturally speaking. 

Agriculture in Israel is the success story of a long, hard struggle against adverse conditions and of making maximum use of arable land and scarce water. Its success lies in the determination and ingenuity of farmers and scientists who have dedicated themselves to developing a flourishing agriculture.

The close cooperation between R&D and industry led to the development of a market-oriented agri-business that exports agro-technology solutions worldwide. A good lesson to countries, including Nigeria, in dire need of solutions in their war against hunger, diseases, morbidity and mortality!

The proposed trips to Israel designed for at least ten persons would comprise of practical eight (8) days training sessions of lectures, study tours and excursions to various sites of interest in Israel including farms, agricultural processing plants, technology centres, the export and international cooperation institute.

The study tours and lectures will be given in English by Israeli experts drawn from the academia, state ministry of agriculture and entrepreneurs.

Overview of Israeli Agricultural Technology
Logistic Framework of Export: Harvest, Post Harvest, Packing and Transportation
Milk Production in Israel
Agricultural Risk Management                                                                
Marketing of agricultural products
Establishment of Value Chain Structure for Various Commodities
Agricultural Project Management; design, implementation and management

Study Tours
Kaplan Engineering and Agricultural Projects
Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute
Greenhouse; Intensive Vegetable Production
Intensive Crop Production Nursery
Drip Irrigation Company
Aquaculture – Fish Processing
Milk Products; Soft cheese, Yogurt and hard Cheese
Open-market and Supermarket as integral parts of the value chain
Field crop storage warehouse and harvesting machinery

The first program has been scheduled for March 2013 to hold in Israel. On request, sessions may be held in locations in Nigeria.

For further inquiries, email or call +234 1 878 2864.

Monday, January 7, 2013

ISRAEL: The real destination to explore in 2013.


Eilat-Stress Relief
Dead Sea-Age Renew
Jerusalem-Spiritual Rebirth

In collaboration with Sunway Tours, Israeli tour operators of over thirty years standing in the industry, we propose the following trips for 2013.

To qualify, join/form a group of 10 persons travelling together.
February- Rev up your relationship, honeymoons and wedding anniversaries at the Dead Sea, Eilat and Jerusalem
April-Retreat to Jerusalem for spiritual rebirth and re-dedication
June-Summer getaway especially to the fun-filled city of Eilat on the Red Sea
August-Escape to the Dead Sea, on the footsteps of Cleopatra to the world’s only natural Spa for skin rejuvenation, or to get rid of rheumatism, arthritis etc.
October-Celebration of life: wine, dine and dance, play with the Dolphins, relax on the beaches, explore underwater corals etc in Eilat
December-The month of Christmas in Jerusalem! The time to renew your vows! Thanksgiving, reflections and planning for the New Year!

For inquiries, contact us on 01 878 2864, 0813 453 6545 or email