Business in Brief

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Economy grew a slow 3.3% in 2013

Israel’s gross domestic product grew 3.3% in 2013, the slowest pace since 2009, the Central Bureau of Statistics rpeorted yesterday in a prelminiary esitmate. The pace slowed from 3.4% in 2012, 4.6% in 2011 and 5.3% in 2010. Per capita GDP increased 1.4% to $36,200, a drop from the 1.5% rise in 2012 but still double the average rise for countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the CBS said. Consumer spending rose 4%, accelerating from a 3.2% increase in 2012, but investment in fixed assets edged up just 0.3%, while exports of goods and services fell 0.1%, slowing from an 0.9% increase in 2012. (TheMarker Staff)

Israel awards first licenses to operate drones

Two companies, Steadicopter and Bladeworks, have been awarded the first-ever licenses to operate unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for civilian uses in Israel. The Civil Aviation Authority said the licenses will allow the two companiers to fly drones for such purposes as aerial photography, agricultural research and securing civilian infrastructure.. “These first licenses open up the possibility for other companies and for the development of a commmerical market with great economic potential,” the CAA said. (Zohar Blumenkrantz)

Poll: Security concerns deter tourism

Worries about security and the high cost of taking a vacation in Israel are the two top reasons Israelis think more tourists don’t visit their country, according to a poll by the travel website Monitour this week. In a poll of 1,000 Israeli Jews, 42.7% cited security as the chief obstacle, while 32.8% cited high prices. Another 7.3% believed it was high airfares and 6.7% poor service. Only 5.1% blamed poor marketing and just 3.8% attributed the problem to Israel’s international image. The survey comes as the government estimates that some 2.9 million tourists visited the country in 2013, unchanged from the previous three years. (Rina Rozenberg)

Archive image of a drone.Credit: Ancho Gosh