#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – July 05 – Twelve EU countries have warned investors not to do business with Israeli settler entities, amid a security crisis in Israel and Palestine.
The group includes: Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Denmark; Finland; Greece; Ireland; Luxembourg; Malta; Portugal; Slovakia; and Slovenia.
Portugal published its statement on Wednesday (2 July) and the others came out on Thursday. France, Italy, and Spain put out similar communiques earlier this week. Germany and the UK already did it months ago. Poland is expected to publish a warning shortly.
The Irish foreign ministry said the action “has been coordinated at EU level”.
The 12 warnings make similar points, with the Irish one, for instance, saying that “economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks”.
It said investors could face lawsuits over “disputed titles to the land, water, mineral, or other natural resources”. It added that: “In case of disputes, it could be very difficult for [EU] member states to ensure national protection of their interests”.
The communique noted that Ireland does not endorse “any form of boycott directed against Israel”.
But it also said Irish businesses should beware of the “reputation that could be gained and implications” of indirect support for “possible abuses of the rights of individuals”.
(English Ahram June 16 2014 ) – Magdy Tolba, the former head of the Egyptian clothes exports council and one of the major beneficiaries of a bilateral trade agreement with Israel has warned against the impact on Egyptian labour in the textiles sector "of things getting worse", in a reference to last week’s attack on the Israeli Embassy.
The Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement, according to Tolba, is a cornerstone of Egypt’s economic relations. Signed by the Nazif cabinet in 2005 without parliamentary approval, the agreement permits a zero-tariff access to the American market for Egyptian clothes that use 11.7 per cent Israeli inputs.
To this day, 507 factories are operating under this agreement, employing some 100,000 workers, most of them Egyptians. Not all factories export to the USA.
According to Ministry of Trade, Egyptian exports under the QIZ programme amounted to $811 million in 2010, 60 per cent of which goes to the US market.
For its part BDI Coface, the largest business information group in Israel, says the deteriorating of its relations with Israel could cost Egypt 70,000 jobs in QIZ -related factories. “Without this agreement,” Tolba told Ahram Online, “the cost of clothes exported by Egypt’s could rise by 16-38 per cent, due to imposed tariffs.”