The Histadrut directly owns or controls a significant portion of Israeli industry. The separation of industries among the public, private, and Histadrut sectors of the economy, however, is not a simple one. Many important enterprises are partners with either or both the Histadrut and the government. Most big industrial concerns, such as the Nesher cement and Shemen vegetable oil plants, are owned either solely by Histadrut (through its industrial conglomerate, Koor Industries) or in partnership with private investors. About 10 percent of FY 1985 industrial output was produced by joint ventures of the private and Histadrut sectors.
In FY 1985, private-sector industrial ownership was as follows: electronics, 51 percent; textiles, 92 percent; clothing, 97 percent; machinery, 61 percent; food and tobacco, 60 percent; leather goods, 80 percent; wood products, 72 percent; paper products, 81 percent; and printing and publishing, 86 percent.
Manufacturing, particularly for export, has been a major component of GDP. In FY 1985, manufacturing contributed 23.4 percent of GDP. Industrial production grew at a rate of 3.6 percent in 1986, compared with 3 percent in 1984. Most of this growth has been in export products. For many years, export growth was led by the electronics and metallurgic industries, especially in the field of military equipment. In the 1980s, exports from the textile, clothing and fashion industries expanded, as did exports of food products of various sorts. Following a slump in the 1980s, diamond exports made a strong recovery after 1985.
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