Textile manufacturers predict that additional 1,700 workers will be laid-offs this year, reducing the textile industry’s workforce to 17,000 .The study pointed out that despite of closing down of 12 sewing workshops the 2005 results of Israel’s textile and fashion industry demonstrated real growth in sales by 1-1.5% to $2.03 billion..According to the study, the 1-1.5% growth in sale in 2005 included 8% growth in domestic sales to $969 million, while exports were unchanged at $1.06 billion. .Israel’s textile imports rose 6% in 2005 to $1.52 billion. .Following the signing of the tripartite US-Israel-Egypt qualified industrial zone (QIZ) agreement textile exports to Egypt, rose to $22 million. Exports are predicted to grow 60% to $35 million in 2006. .Textile exports to Jordan fell, however, by 8% to $95 million. The fall is attributed to the Jordan’s free trade agreement with the US, which reduced the advantages of the US-Israel-Jordan QIZ agreement. .Thanks to rising demand in 2006, textile manufacturers predict 6% growth in sales to $21.6 billion. .Exports, according to textile manufacturers are expected to grow by 3-4% to $1.1 billion, home sales are expected to increase by 5% to over $1.06 billion.Source: Port2port.com .