Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is visiting Israel as part of a six-day Ontario Life Sciences Mission. One of his goals is to gain insights on Israeli competitive advantages in biotechnology, water treatment, computers and green energy.
In 2009, Ontario imported C$653.8 million worth of goods from Israel – up 35% since 2005. Ontario shipped $194.4 million in exports to Israel last year, a 15.5% gain over the same time period.
The bottom line is that Ontario ran a $459.4 million deficit with its Israeli trade partner in 2009.
Top Exports from Ontario to Israel
Representing 65% of all Ontario exports to Israel, below are the top 10 exports delivered to Israel from Ontario in 2009.
- Turbo-jets, high-thrust power … C$51.6 million (26.5% of Ontario’s exports to Israel, down 64.4% from 2008)
- Soya beans … $18.5 million (9.5%, up 60.4%)
- Turbo-jets, lower-thrust power … $14.9 million (7.6%, up 999.8%)
- Nylon and polyester woven fabrics … $13.9 million (7.1%, up 3,712%)
- Diamonds, processed and non-industrial … $10.1 million (5.2%, down 14.9%)
- Airplane or helicopter parts … $5.6 million (2.9%, down 33.5%)
- Lactones, chemicals … $4.8 million (2.5%, up from nil in 2008)
- Penicillins or streptomycins … $2.4 million (1.3%, up 47.3%)
- Vaccines for humans … $2.35 million (1.2%, up 46.4%)
- Toys including tricycles … $2.1 million (1.1%, up 388.5%).
Only 5% of these major exports are directly related to the life sciences. However, each of the 3 life sciences export categories (lactones, penicillins and vaccines) did show significant percentage improvements over 2008.
Ontario’s Percent of Total Canadian Exports to Israel
Ontario’s $194.4 million worth of shipments to Israel accounted for 55.1% of Canada’s overall $353.2 million in exports to Israel. Yet Ontario dominated many of the top 10 export categories, which may be why Premier McGuinty plans to diversify Ontario’s exports into other product sectors.
- Turbo-jets, high-thrust power … 100% of total exports from Canada to Israel
- Soya beans … 58.5%
- Turbo-jets, lower-thrust power … 100%
- Nylon and polyester woven fabrics … 100%
- Diamonds, processed and non-industrial … 75%
- Airplane or helicopter parts … 67.6%
- Lactones, chemicals … 100%
- Penicillins or streptomycins … 100%
- Vaccines for humans … 82%
- Toys including tricycles … 85.5%.
As the above percentages for lactones, penicillins and vaccines show, Ontario already plays a leading role in life sciences exports to Israel.
Top Ontario Imports from Israel
Israel is home to one of the world’s leading generic drug companies, Teva Pharmaceuticals. So it should be no surprise that medications represent almost a third of Canadian imports from Israel.
The top 10 imports below add up to 58% of all Ontario imports from Israel last year.
- Medications … C$205.3 million (31.4% of Canadian imports from Israel, down 9.9% from 2008)
- Diamonds, processed and non-industrial … $76.1 million (11.6%, down 22.8%)
- Voice, image and data transmission equipment … $23.4 million (3.6%, up 35.2%)
- Liquid transformers … $13.7 million (2.1%, up 59.3%)
- Prefabricated buildings … $12.6 million (1.9%, down 10.5%)
- Modems, switches and routers … $11.8 million (1.8%, down 43.3%)
- Medical and surgical appliances … $11 million (1.7%, up 10.3%)
- Telescopic sights, periscopes, telescopes … $8.8 million (1.3%, up 2,039%)
- Lactones, chemicals … $8.3 million (1.27%, up 110%)
- Non-powered aircraft including balloons … $8 million (1.2%, up from nil).
Ontario imports of Israeli medications is greater than the total of all exports from Ontario to Israel in 2009. Two smaller export categories directly related to life sciences on the above list are medical appliances and lactones.
Ontario’s Percent of Total Canadian Imports from Israel
Ontario’s dependency on imported Israeli drugs and medicines is even more acute when one considers overall Canadian imports from Israel. Ontario imports almost all the medications that Israel delivers to Canada.
- Medications … 99.9% of total Canadian imports from Israel
- Diamonds, processed and non-industrial … 78.6%
- Voice, image and data transmission equipment … 68.8%
- Liquid transformers … 84.8%
- Prefabricated buildings … 68.3%
- Modems, switches and routers … 54.7%
- Medical and surgical appliances … 92.3%
- Telescopic sights, periscopes, telescopes … 70.6%
- Lactones, chemicals … 99.9%
- Non-powered aircraft including balloons … 100%.
Ontario plays a much less dominant role in importing products from other sectors. These include telecommunications equipment and prefabricated building construction products.
Lessons learned from the above trade statistics is that Ontario can and must improve on an almost half-billion dollar trade deficit with Israel.
This can be achieved if Ontario:
- Sells more of its leading exports like turbo-jets where Ontario already has proven competitive advantages over Israel.
- Offers more exported natural products like soybeans that meet Israel’s specific needs.
- Develops its own production of generic medications for sale at home and back to Israel.