Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Gad Schaeffer the chairman of the Israeli Shipper's Council issued a statement last week calling upon the Government to assist Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. In a written statement published in the Israeli press Schaefer noted that Zim has been servicing the Israeli economy for many years, during wars and peace, even after its privatization.
Schaeffer added that "The current distress of Zim, following its privatization, cannot be considered as a problem of its private owners. That is a narrow viewpoint that fails to consider Israel's national interest”.
Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Israel Corporation controlled by Sammy and Idan Ofer's Ofer Holdings Group, has been suffering, due to the severe economic crisis, from a massive drop in traffic and has had to rely on a rescue package from parent company Israel Corp. The company is anticipating losses of US$1bn.
Schaeffer added, "The damage from the loss of this anchor of marine shipping to and from Israel, and of Israel's foreign trade, will be far greater than any aid injected into Zim to rescue it from the crisis." Schaefer called upon the Government not to abandon the company and ask the Government to help Zim's parent company Israel Corp. to keep the company afloat. Schaefer added that a decision not to rescue the company would threaten Israel's shipping ties with the rest of the world. Zim is an important asset to the Israeli economy and must be kept afloat in order to serve Israel's business communities.
Schaeffer noted that Israel's seaports handle 97% of the country's foreign trade, and that Israel must have a reliable and continuous shipping company. Zim has fulfilled this role for years, even after its privatization.
The ISC represents Israeli exporters and importers vis-a-vis shipping companies, Israel Port Authorities, Israel Ministry of Transportation and other government offices and authorities.