Israel is a relatively small country with limited natural resources and an affluent, bourgeois citizenry; as such, it is highly dependent on international trade, both to supply its industry with natural resources, and to purchase its value-added products. In 2000, foreign trade amounted to 27% of national income. Exports that year totaled $31.4 billion, up 19% from the previous year. Imports, meanwhile, also grew to $35.7 billion. The vast majority (66%) of Israeli exports are manufactured goods and their primary destinations are the US and the EU, which together buy 65% of Israel's exports. Imports are primarily industrial resources (63%)—other large sectors are capital goods (19%) and consumer products (11%).
Cut diamonds top the list of Israel's export commodities (25%), reflecting 17.5% of the world's total diamond exports. Machinery and equipment, including telecommunications equipment (13.6%) and other electrical machinery (11.3%) are important exports.
In 2000 Israel's imports were distributed among the following categories:
Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:
|China (inc. Hong Kong)||1,646||1,501||145|