For the first time in a decade, industrial high-tech exports are frozen. According to figures released by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI), 2012 saw a 1% drop in the volume of industrial high-tech exports compared to the previous year, totaling $21 billion.
IEICI officials noted that high-tech exports have not recorded a decline since the 2001-2002 high-tech crisis. Even during the global economic crisis in 2009, which was characterized by a sharp decline in all other export industries, high-tech exports maintained a 5% growth.
"The figures are disturbing," said IEICI Chairman Ramzi Gabbay. "If this trend continues it will have serious implications on the Israeli economy."
Meanwhile, a new report reveals that Israeli technology companies are raising less money. According to the PwC Israel professional services firm, 2012 saw a 29% drop in the capital raised by Israeli startups from venture capital funds in Israel.
According to the report, VC-backed high-tech companies raised $867 million in the past year compared to $1.2 billion in 2011. The sum raised in 2012 is lower than the sum raised in 2010 as well.
Sagi Cohen contributed to this report