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Palestine's Trade With Middle Eastern Countries: Palestinian Foreign Trade With Egypt, Iraq, and Levant States, between the years of 1924 - 1938 before 1948 (Nakba), British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine: Volume I - Page 481. Chapter XIII: Section 3
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Posted on October 28, 2007
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Section 3.


88. In considering the development of Palestine's trade with Middle East countries, it will be convenient to deal in the first place with the trade between Palestine and those countries with which trade agreements have been made, as noted in paragraphs 2 to 5 of section 1 of this chapter. Trade with Middle East countries not in this group has largely been developed during and because of the war. The statistics at the end of this section accordingly give particulars of the exports of Palestine merchandise to Egypt, Iraq and the Levant States for 1931, 1933 and 1939 and in respect of the war years 1942--1944. In respect of the other countries of the Middle East, figures are given for 1939 and the three war years only.

89. The following table shows, up to 1938, the value of Palestine's foreign trade and the percentages of that value representing respectively the export trade to, and the import trade from, Egypt, Iraq and the Levant States :


[ 1924 I 1926 I 1928 I 1930 [ 1932 [ 1934 I 1936 11939

Exports in £P. OOO's 1232 1308 1487 1896 2381 3218 3625 5020
M.E. percentage 59.77 45.15 46.07 32.07 15.15 9.30 10.46 10.41
Imports in £P. OOO's 5401 6594 6771 6985 7769 15153 13979 11357
M.E. percentage 22.65 37.62 42.06 37.62 25.85 11.38 14.83 14.03
It will be seen that the importance of these Middle East markets as purchasers of Palestine products diminished as Palestine's export trade grew. The importance of Egypt as a source of supply tended to diminish from 1928 onwards, whereas the import trade from the Levant States remained a relatively constant factor throughout the period, increasing from 1932 onwards.

90. During the earlier part of the period covered exports to the Middle East countries consisted in the main of agricultural produce. The most important single item is olive-oil soap but except for this commodity manufactures represented a comparatively insignificant proportion of the export trade. The Levant States were better customers for manufactured goods than either Egypt or Iraq (whose proportion was negligible) but this class of commodities only constituted some 28% of the total exports to the Levant States in 1938; in 1934 the corresponding percentage had been 42% and in 1936, 37%. The value of the export of manufactured goods to the Levant States had, however, been slowly growing: it was £P.96,000 in 1934 ; £P.116,000 in 1936 ; and

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