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JERUSALEM, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Israel’s exports are expected to grow more than 10 percent to a record level of at least $160 billion in 2022, led by services exports, the economy ministry said on Sunday.

Exports, which account for about 30% of Israel’s economic activity, totaled $144 billion in 2021, with services overtaking goods as the country’s top export for the first time.

Again in 2022, led by high-tech exports such as software and research and development, services are likely to account for 51% of total exports, the ministry said.

The ministry said total exports could exceed $165 billion in 2022 if the pace of the first three quarters of the year is maintained.

The Israel Manufacturers Association said that while exports have been able to grow despite many challenges, it is worried about the coming year.

“The year 2023 carries with it the risks of a global recession, localization in many countries and difficulties in supply chains,” said Ron Tomer, the group’s chairman.

Without elaborating, he said he expects the Israeli government to do its part and help the economy and exports to continue growing during this difficult period.

Israel’s economy is projected to grow about 6% this year, but only 3% in 2023.

With a 38% share, Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner, followed by the Americas at 35% and Asia at 24%.

Reporting by Stephen Sher Editing by Peter Graff

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