Israeli exports 15,000 greater than in 1948

Over the 65 years of the country’s existence, Israeli exports of goods and services have expanded by a factor of 15,000 − from about $6 million in 1948 to about $91 billion last year, according to data released by the Israel Export Institute Monday. The export of goods alone rose from $6 million in 1948 to $61 billion in 2012. Although Israel’s population has grown roughly tenfold over its years of independence, exports per capita have also increased dramatically, from $7 per person to $11,390. Even correcting for inflation, in real terms, exports have increased by a factor of 1,577 and exports per capita are 172 times larger. ‏(Ora Coren‏)

Efi Arazi, founder of Scitex, laid to rest

Efi Arazi, the founder of Scitex and one of the fathers of Israel’s high-tech industry, died Sunday, on his 76th birthday. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for years. In 1968, Arazi founded Scientific Technology, a company which came to be known as Scitex. The company originally made machinery for the textile industry, but later became a pioneer in the field of digital printing. It was the first company to develop a computer-to-plate machine, which enabled digital files to be converted into plates for printing. By 1990, Scitex − which was one of the first Israeli companies traded on the Nasdaq exchange − had an annual turnover of $900 million. Arazi himself left Scitex in 1988 to found EFI ‏(Electronics for Imaging‏), another company in the field of digital printing. Today, EFI has a market value of $1.18 billion. ‏(TheMarker staff‏)

Former representative of Beny Steinmetz arrested in Florida

FBI agents have arrested a man who worked as a representative of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’ operations in Guinea, as part of a U.S. probe into alleged corruption in the mineral-rich West African country. BSG Resources, the mining arm of Steinmetz’s conglomerate, is currently battling the African nation over the right to mine one of the world’s largest untapped iron-ore deposits, known as Simandou. It has repeatedly denied Guinean government allegations that it paid bribes to the country’s former ruler to obtain the huge concession. Frederic Cilins, 50, a French national named by the government of Guinea as “an agent” for BSG Resources, was arrested in Florida on Sunday by the FBI. He was charged with obstructing a criminal investigation, tampering with a witness and destruction of records, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday. In a 2012 letter, BSG said that Cilins helped the firm set up its offices in Guinea in 2006, but added that Cilins left Guinea in 2006 and stopped working for the firm. (Reuters‏)