The Center for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation (CFTIC) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is a partner in encouraging local production and food security in Israel. It promotes trade policy for ensuring the availability, quality and variety of fresh food throughout the year at fair prices to residents of Israel, leveraging and promoting agricultural exports through cooperation, and exposing the relative advantage of Israeli agriculture in the international arena.
CFTIC designs the agricultural chapters in the multilateral and bilateral trade agreements and coordinates all aspects of the Ministry's foreign relations.
Foreign Relations and International Cooperation
The department for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation is responsible for developing and promoting trade and bilateral and multilateral cooperation with government institutions, international organizations and other leading stakeholders in the agriculture sector. Its activities build on Israel’s expertise and leadership in agricultural innovation and are guided by the goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The department works to formulate international agreements, plan professional visits, exhibitions and international seminars, and is a liaison between international and national professional agricultural institutions and organizations from around the world and all of the Ministry's relevant units.
We work primarily through the framework of government-to-government (G2G) agreements, as well as collaborations with international organizations, professional institutes, and relevant NGOs.
Our collaborative efforts focus on designing and implementing agricultural projects that support the integration of relevant Israeli agricultural expertise and innovation to deliver competitive, resource efficient, sustainable, and resilient outcomes in the agricultural sector. We promote B2B activities that complement and support government-led initiatives and expand the outreach of Israeli technologies and innovations.
Encouraging Agricultural Exports
The export of fresh agricultural produce from Israel is an important tier in the agricultural production system in Israel, and constitutes a unique platform for the continuous development of the agricultural and settlement sector in the country. Most agricultural exports originate in peripheral areas where agriculture is the leading economic industry.
The value of agricultural exports (fresh and processed food) in 2019 was approx.$ 2 billion, of which the value of fresh agricultural exports was about $ 1 billion (58% of fresh exports were exported to EU countries).
The Center for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation (CFTIC) works to diversify traditional export markets and open new markets. As part of our activity to encourage exports, emphasis is placed on supporting product quality and finding new niches for fresh produce. In addition, we promote the Israeli agro-technology industry so that it can continue to ensure the sustainability and the high level of Israel's agriculture sector.
Import Policy of Fresh and Processed Agricultural Produce
The Ministry's policy of importing fresh and processed agricultural products to Israel is aiming to serve a number of goals, including sustaining and protecting the Israeli agriculture sector, supply of fresh agricultural produce at fair prices to the consumer, and the implementation of trade agreements. The Import Department is responsible, among other things, for the distribution of tariff rate quotas to which the State of Israel has committed under trade agreements and the distribution of voluntary quotas in times of shortage.
International Trade Agreements
The Center for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation at the Ministry of Agriculture operates in cooperation with the Foreign Trade Administration at the Ministry of Economy and Industry and is in charge of all aspects related to agriculture in international trade agreements. Israel's trade agreements serve as a platform and incentive to increase exports, in which a dialogue takes place between Israel and its trade partners to simplify trade and assist exporters encountering trade barriers, as part of a series of actions aimed at regulating optimal trade conditions with various countries.
Countries with which Israel has bilateral trade agreements: The United States of America, The European Union, EFTA states (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), Canada, Mexico, Mercosur Group of States (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay), Turkey, Colombia, Panama, Ukraine, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Negotiations on additional trade agreements are underway with China, Vietnam and the Eurasian Customs Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia).