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November 26, 1993 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-11-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Isit

ID]rcrEsa-4

Specially compileil-by The Jerusalem Post

— $1 EQUALS 2.9510 NIS (shekels) - Close Price 11112/93 —

Consumer Price Index Up

Israel's Consumer Price Index
shot up 1.4 percent last
month, topping high indexes
in the two previous months.
Based on the indexes for the
first 10 months of the year, the
annual inflation rate for 1993
is estimated at 11 percent.
However, during the past

three months inflation heated
up, rising at a rate of about 14
percent annually. Economists
expected a high index based
on seasonal factors, such as
higher clothing prices and
higher housing prices driven
by the devaluation of the
shekel.

The European Free Trade As-
sociation's (EFTA) free trade
agreement with Israel may
also apply to the Palestinian
autonomous areas should a
customs union be established
with the territories, Austrian
Deputy Minister for Econom-
ic Affairs Maria Fekter said
last week.
Ms. Fekter, who is leading
an EFTA delegation to review
the implementation of the free
trade agreement, said, how-
ever, that the organization did
not want to interfere with the
continuing peace negotiations.
The first joint EFTA-Israel

committee meeting since the
agreement came into force at
the beginning of the year fo-
cused on getting stronger Is-
raeli participation in joint
European industrial research
and development projects and
on reducing barriers to free
trade.
A common problem to
EFTA and Israel, who have
free trade agreements with
several countries or groups of
countries, is that products
combining components from
free trade partners fail to ben-
efit from duty-free treatment
from common free trade.

Free Trade Helps Israel

Inflation Fight Not Over

The steep rise in last
month's Israel Consumer
Price Index proves that the
fight against inflation has yet
to be won, Bank of Israel Gov-
ernor Jacob Frenkel said last
week.
Mr. Frenkel, who was vis-
iting Jerusalem factories as a
guest of the Manufacturers
Association, noted that the in-
crease in housing prices —
which was responsible for
much of the index's 1.4 percent
rise — required government

Michael Budman and
Don Green

was turning out 2,000 pairs of
Negative Heel Shoes a day.
The Negative Heel fad last-
ed for three years in North
America, enough time to es-
tablish Roots as a force in the
shoe world.
By 1976, the small company
was busy manufacturing more
conventional rubber-soled ox-
fords, boots and loafers, as well
as leather jackets and hand-
bags.
"Michael and I are a great
balance," says Mr. Green, who
oversees the company's inter-
nal operations, including prod-
uct development and financial
matters. His partner does more
of the "outside" work, handling
sales, marketing and promo-
tions.
"Don and I founded this thing
together," Mr. Budman ex-
plains. "The success of Roots
stems from the chemistry of
Don and me."
Their business has grown
steadily over the years. Origi-
nally, the pair thought that $15-
$20 million in revenue would
be enough. But they soon real-

ized that growth, not income,
was what would keep their
business alive in the volatile
fashion business.
"Once a business starts, you
have to grow it," Mr. Budman
says.
By the end of 1993, he and
Mr. Green expect to have 70
Roots stores worldwide, from

"Michael and I
are a great balance."

Canada to Japan. In 1994, they
plan to open 30 more.
Over the years, Mr. Budman
and Mr. Green have dabbled in
a variety of other products, in-
cluding furniture and surf wear.
But it's the shoes and the out-
doorsy clothing that put them
on the map.
Clearly, that's what cus-
tomers want. It's also what the
owners want.
"This is our life," says Mr.
Budman. "What you see in
these stores is our lifestyle."
That lifestyle includes a corn-

mitment to Jewish causes and
culture which began at Shaarey
Zedek in the 1950s.
Growing up in Sherwood
Forest on Detroit's northwest
side, Mr. Budman had a 45-
minute ride to and from He-
brew school twice a week while
his friends played sports after
school.
"I got home at 7 o'clock," Mr.
Budman says. "I was the last
drop-off on the bus." He didn't
enjoy the experience, but he
does credit his mother, Helen
Budman, for insisting that her
children receive a solid Jewish
education.
Mr. Green also grew up at
Shaarey Zedek. "My mom and
dad brought in a real Jewish
feeling in the house," Mr. Green
recalls.
Today, the two men still sup-
port the Jewish camp where
their partnership first devel-
oped.
"They've always tried to give
back to those who supported
them over the years," Mr. Nor-
ris says. `They've tried to help
out a lot of the kids."

intervention.
He suggested the govern-
ment make more land avail-
able in the center of the
country and encourage build-
ing so as to relieve the hous-
ing crunch.
Mr. Frenkel also called for
maintaining an anti-infla-
tionary economic policy which
exercises restraint on wages.
He rejected the possibility that
interest rates would rise as a
result of the high index.

Ormat Has Philippine Contract

Ormat Inc., a subsidiary of Or-
mat Industries located in
Yavne, Detroit's sister city, has
signed a contract with the
Philippines government to
supply the country with a ge-
othermal power plant

The plant, which will begin
producing power in the second
half of 1996, will involve an in-
vestment of about $200 mil-
lion. Ormat will team with
California Energy to build and
operate the plant.

Dutch Sell Trade Insurance

Dutch holding company NCM
announced it will sell foreign
trade risk insurance to Israeli
companies in the near future.
NCM, with branches and
subsidiaries in over 20 coun-
tries in Europe and the Unit-
ed States, primarily deals in
selling this type of insurance
and providing financial data
to its customers.
The Israel Manufacturer's
Association will facilitate
NCM's entrance into the local
market by representing the
company to its members.
`The entrance of NCM into
the Israeli marketplace will
bring important tools to aid

and improve the abilities of Is-
raeli industrialists to compete
in international trade, and
NCM will help bring advanced
international standards in the
foreign trade risk insurance
field to Israel," association di-
rector-general Yoram Beli-
zovsky said.
The only firm currently pro-
viding this service is the gov-
ernment-owned Israel Foreign
Trade Insurance Corporation.
Before NCM can go into
business in Israel, it needs to
receive approval and licensing
from the supervisor over in-
surance activities in the Fi-
nance Ministry.

39

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