Area Handbook for Israel

By Harvey H. Smith; Frederica M. Bunge et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 23
DOMESTIC TRADE

Government planners expect domestic trade, which in 1967 accounted for approximately 15 percent of the gross national product (GNP), to become increasingly important in the nation's economy. This expectation is based primarily on the rapid development of industry, resulting in part from a growth in demand for locally manufactured items (see ch. 21, Industry). The demand stems mainly from the increasing population and rising living standards, reflected in mounting requirements in food, durable goods, and other items to meet expanded domestic needs (see ch. 8, Living Conditions).

A prominent characteristic of domestic trade in the later 1960's was the predominance of small retail stores operated by the owner and his family, sometimes with the aid of a few hired employees. In 1967 retail outlets, with hired employees, numbered roughly 4,000, including about 350 cooperatives. The total persons engaged in retail trade numbered approximately 62,000, but only some 19,000 were hired workers. Retail sales in the same year totaled more than I£1.25 billion (I£1 equals approximately US$0.285 -- see Glossary). During the same period some 20,000 employees, including about 15,300 hired workers, were engaged in the wholesale trade. Togther they handled merchandise amounting to almost I£5.5 billion.

Government planners favor an economy patterned along Western lines, with emphasis on cooperative organizations for wholesale and retail trade. Special considerations, such as subsidies, loans at favorable interest rates, or protective tariffs, are given to enterprises regarded as essential for the country's economic growth. Statistics for 1967 indicate that about 24 percent of wholesale and 18 percent of retail trade was through cooperative channels (see ch. 21, Industry).

Nearly all of the domestic trade by cooperatives is carried on by the Histadrut (Histadrut Ha'ovdim Haklalit -- General Federation of Labor) or its subsidiaries (see ch. 22, Labor). Affiliated with this expansive organization are most of the kibbutzim and moshavim, collective and communal agricultural settlements, started primarily by the immigrants arriving since the establishment of statehood in 1948. Agricultural trade and other activities of the organization are coordinated through its Agricultural Center, the executive body of the Agricultural Workers' Union.

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Area Handbook for Israel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • COUNTRY SUMMARY vii
  • Contents xi
  • SECTION I. SOCIAL 1
  • Chapter 2 - PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 13
  • Chapter 3 Historical Setting 29
  • Chapter 4 - POPULATION 55
  • Chapter 5 Ethnic Groups and Languages 67
  • Chapter 6 Social Structures 75
  • Chapter 7 Family 89
  • CHAPTER 8 - LIVING CONDITIONS 98
  • Chapter 9 - EDUCATION 113
  • Chapter 10 - ARTISTIC AND INTELLECTUAL EXPRESSION 131
  • Chapter 12 - SOCIAL VALUES 153
  • SECTION II. POLITICAL 163
  • Chapter 14 - POLITICAL DYNAMICS 187
  • Chapter 15 Foreign Relations 209
  • Chapter 16 - PUBLIC INFORMATION 221
  • Chapter 17 - POLITICAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES 239
  • Chapter 18 - BIOGRAPHIES OF SELECTED KEY PERSONALITIES 255
  • SECTION III. ECONOMIC 273
  • Chapter 20 Agriculture 285
  • Chapter 21 Industry 299
  • Chapter 22 Labor 311
  • Chapter 23 - DOMESTIC TRADE 333
  • Chapter 24 - FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS 345
  • Chapter 25 Financial and Monetary System 357
  • SECTION IV. NATIONAL SECURITY 369
  • Chapter 27 - PUBLIC ORDER AND INTERNAL SECURITY 397
  • Index 447
  • PUBLISHED AREA HANDBOOKS 457
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