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    MAY, 2007



     Economic Outlook


    OECD to open membership talks with Israel

    (Globes) The OECD today announced that it will open accession talks with Israel. Israel is one of five

    countries with which accession talks will begin, along with Chile, Estonia, the Russian Federation and

    Slovenia. In a statement, the OECD Council said that it “invites the Secretary-General to set out the

    terms, conditions and process for the accession of each of these countries to the OECD for

    subsequent consideration and adoption by Council. Separately, Council may raise issues of a political

    nature which the Secretary-General will convey to the countries concerned in the context of the

    discussions on accession.”

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “This is another vote of confidence in the Israeli economy, its

    strength and development capacity. The rapid expansion of the Israeli economy in recent years will

    receive great encouragement, and the country will now unquestionably benefit from additional

    investment from all over the world.”

    In March 1996, the OECD Council of Ministers approved Israel’s request to participate in the

    Organization’s activities. Today, Israel actively participates and fully cooperates on more than fifty

    committees, working groups, networks, task forces and schemes, as a full participant, regular

    observer and as an ad hoc observer.

    The Ministry of Finance says, “Israeli membership in the OECD will be an important step in the

    economy’s integration into the global economy as a developed and modern economy.” The ministry

    cited a statement made in January by IMF Executive Director for Israel: "The economy’s high degree

    of development together with the authorities’ commitment to maintain a market-based economy,

    good governance and democratic pluralism place Israel as a natural candidate for OECD


    An improvement in Israel’s economic status will help cut its risk rating, lower the cost of credit, and

    promote the country’s integration into the global economy. Joining the OECD will also facilitate the

    exchange of economic information between Israel and other countries, which might promote

    economic reforms and bring its economic standards in line with international norms. Membership

    might also raise Israel’s credit rating on international markets from its current A- rating obtained in


    Joining the OECD could take up to two years, during which Israel’s economy will be put under a

    microscope, to verify that it meets OECD standards.

    Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer said, “The OECD’s invitation reflects the strong standing of the Israeli economy, and will help Israel integrate into the global economy.”

For the further information please visit:

    The new OECD website of the International Affairs Department of the Israeli Ministry of Finance: OECD main website:

    Israel to lead European R&D network Eureka in 2010-2011

    (Globes) The pan-European network for market-oriented industrial R&D - Eureka - has selected Israel to

    serve as program chair in 2010-2011. Eureka was founded to promote joint R&D ventures supported

    by state-administered R&D management authorities, and to set out an R&D policy at the European

    level. At present, nearly all European countries (36 in all) are partners in the program together with

    the European Commission, which approves projects worth a combined ?1.5 billion annually.

    Israel was admitted as full member of the program in 2000, and Israeli companies currently take part

    in more than 10% of the projects that take place under the program.

    Chief Scientist Dr. Eli Opper said that chairing the program would significantly upgrade Israel's

    standing in the European R&D community. He added that Israel would be able to use its tenure as

    program chair to set the agenda for the European program and secure European support for

    important ventures, such as the strengthening of priority fields including life sciences, water

    technologies and the environment. During its year as program chair, Israel will also host a series of

    meetings of officials in charge of R&D policy setting in member countries.

    Israel up 3 places in World Competitiveness rankings

    (Globes) Israel's economy has climbed three places to 21st place in the World Competitiveness Yearbook

    rankings, published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), which is

    based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    The survey, which was published today, ranks 55 countries according 323 economic criteria, and is

    based on data collated from business entities worldwide. Israel is ranked in 20th place for economic

    strength, unchanged from last year. However, it has climbed 20 places, from 45th to 25th in the

    ratings for international investment.

    Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce president and IMD Israel representative Uriel Lynn

    said, "The ratings components clearly show a rise in the economy's service and personal

    entrepreneurship components, leveraging the relative advantages that Israel's economy has."

    The survey assesses each country's performance according to four main measures: economic

    efficiency, government efficiency, business efficiency, and infrastructure. Israel dropped two places

    to 33rd in the economic efficiency rankings. It rose two places to 25th place in the government

    efficiency rankings, and climbed to 16th from 24th place in the rankings for business efficiency. It

    rose by just one place to 14th place in the infrastructure rankings. Israel also climbed 29 places to 6th

    place in the rankings of the proportion of direct foreign investment to GDP.

    Kaufhof promotes Israeli food manufacturers in Germany

    (Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute) Kaufhof, the German department store chain, which presents a comprehensive range of premium

    products from international brand manufacturers, held a two-week Mediterranean food event in its

    stores last year where it was discovered that there is a high demand for Israeli food products.

    Following the success of Israeli food products at the Mediterranean food event, the chain, together

    with the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI), decided to hold a food event in August this year dedicated exclusively to Israeli food.

    Veolia to invest $1b in Israel by 2013


    Veolia Environnement SA (NYSE: VE; Paris: VIEG) plans to invest $1 billion in Israel according to

    Veolia Environnement Israel chairman Uri Starkman. This means that the company will double its

    investment in Israel.

    Veolia Environnement Israel will be organized into four units: water, environmental quality services,

    energy, and public transports (Connex Israel). Starkman said that the company’s workforce would

    expand from the current 1,700 to 8,000 by 2013.

    Starkman said that Veolia plans to invest in the construction and running of natural gas-driven power

    stations, land decontamination and water purification facilities, light railways, privatized water and

    sewage systems, and other environmental projects.

    Starkman said, “Veolia Environnement Israel has a current turnover of NIS 1 billion, which it plans

    to increase to NIS 5 billion in 2010-13. Veolia believes in Israeli technological know-how, and is

    seriously examining the adoption of these technologies for its own use for renewable energy, water

    and other projects.”

    Veolia Environnement Israel and Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) recently signed a cooperation

    agreement to jointly bid in the Israel Railways $300 million electrification tender. Veolia will also

    build a hot water supply system for the Ashdod desalination facility and run it for 23 years.

    Veolia has already made a number of investments in Israel. It is a partner in the Ashkelon

    desalination facility, a light railway project, Connex Israel operates bus lines in Ashdod, Yavne and

    Tiberias, and it operates several biogas facilities.

    Microsoft expands R&D in Israel

    (Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute) Following the success of its research and development facility in Tel Aviv last year (in addition to the

    one already operating in Haifa since 1991) computer software giant, Microsoft Corporation is

    expected to invest hundreds of millions to open a third R&D center in the Tel Aviv suburb of

    Herzlia in Israel.

    In recent years, many of the world's largest companies have established R&D centers in Israel as part

    of their global activities, among which include Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Motorola,

    Applied Materials and more.

    Israel R&D Center is one of Microsoft's four strategic regional development centers, and home to

    some of the company's most exciting and innovative technologies. Led by Corporate Vice President

    Moshe Lichtman, the center is comprised of incubations and core product efforts in the areas of Telecom, Security, Online Services and Entertainment.

    Israel's IAI tapped by EU to develop environmentally friendly air travel


    Israel's aviation giant, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has recently been accepted as a major partner in a new research and development project, the 'Clean Sky JTI (Joint Technology Initiative)', together with the major European aerospace industries.

    Air transport activities, major contributors to environmental pollution, add more than 25% of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, resulting in a significant impact on climate change. The 'Clean Sky' initiative, the largest European research project ever with a budget estimated to reach over 1.6 billion Euros, aims to radically improve the impact of air transport on the environment with the goal of eliminating environmental pollution by reducing greenhouse gases. This project falls under the umbrella of the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7).

    Israel has been collaborating with the EU on R&D programs since 1996, and is the only country outside the EU associated with the 'Clean Sky' initiative. Considered a source of innovative technology in this field, IAI was invited to participate in the initiative to build environmentally friendly parts for aircraft.



    Data Category Period of latest data Latest data

    IQ, 2007 160,551 NIS millions Gross domestic product

    April, 2007 99.4 CPI

    April, 2007 0.5 % CPI, % (against previous month)

    IQ, 2007 7.7% Unemployment rate, % of

    economically active population

    April, 2007 4,034.1 $ million Exports of goods and services

    April, 2007 3,020.7 $ million Imports of goods and services Trade with Latvia and Lithuania

    ? Data from Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel (

? Gross Domestic Product reached 160,551 NIS millions in the first quarter of 2007, growin

    by 4.5%.

    ? The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% in April 2007 to reach 99.4 points (base

    100=2006), the Central Bureau of Statistic reported. The CPI rose 0.7% in March-April,

    after falling 2.2% in August 2006-February 2007.

? Unemployment rate continues to fall, reaching 7.7%, compared to 7.8% reported in the

    previous quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

? In April, imports of goods were $4 billion, exports of goods $3 billion, and the trade

    deficit $1 billion. The trade deficit since the beginning of the year was $2.4 billion as against

    $2.5 billion in the year-earlier period Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

    ? Net direct and portfolio foreign investment totaled $338 million in April 2007. Divestment

    of Israeli securities totaled $171 million, offset by $509 million direct foreign investment.

    Investment in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) listed stocks totaled $122 million;

    divestment of bonds totaled $374 million.

? In April, the government reported NIS.9 billion in revenue, NIS.1 billion in expenditure,

    and a surplus of NIS million (all of which excluding net issue of credit). Since the beginning

    of the year, the government has had a surplus of NIS.1 billion

? The Israeli economy grew by an annualized 6.3% in the first quarter of 2007, after growing

    by 7.3% in the preceding quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

? Business product grew by an annualized 6.5% in the first quarter.

? The standard of living rose by an annualized 10%.





Trade cooperation with Israel

    Read more…


    May 2007

    IP-GEAR Company Name

    Ms. Morin Dahan Contact Person

    Address Yokneam Industrial Zone, Yokneam 20692, Israel P.O.B 256

    Telephone No. 972-4-9092583

    Fax 972-4-9597144



    Year of Establishment 2006

    No. of Employees 65

    Summary of Offer IP-GEAR is looking for resellers and distributes.

    IP-GEAR is a telecommunication company, manufacturer of Description of Offer

    VoIP and GSM gateways. The company is looking for resellers

    and distributes that are already in the telecommunication


    New World Brands, operating as IP Gear, develops and

    manufactures innovative VoIP and cellular gateway technologies

    for retail, service provider and enterprise markets.

    IP Gear’s technological expertise enables ‘intelligent-routing’

    product features designed to ease the deployment and use of IP

    telephony. The IP Gear Connect program provides voice and

    Internet services to enterprise customers and service providers

    over the global IP Gear Connect VoIP Network. IP Gear’s

    seamless VoIP offering includes the option to bundle proprietary

    manufactured products together with high quality IP Gear Connect

    VoIP origination and termination services; thus maximizing VoIP

    savings and efficiency for clientele. Activity Manufacturer of VoIP and GSM gateways. Target Countries Europe, Africa and Far east.

    April Ltd. Company Name

    Mr. Moshe Rahimi Contact Person

    Address 1 Derech Yafo, Tel Aviv, Israel Telephone No. 972-3-5102975

    Fax 972-3-5166788



    Year of Establishment 1994

No. of Employees 20

    Evening Wear: Dresses, Tops, Skirts, Pants Summary of Offer

    Description of Offer April Fashion house was founded in 1994 and is known as one of

    the leading fashion houses in Israel for ladies evening wear


    April designs, makes up and markets unique evening collections.

    The fashion houses exclusive styles are targeted towards women

    of wide range of ages and to suit all occasions.

    During the 11 years of its existence, April developed a chain of

    branches, which market its exclusive designs to 100 sales points

    nationwide. The company also set up three flagship stores

    displaying its designs.

    April wishes to export its designs and is looking for


    Activity Export and Distribution

    Target Countries Russia, USA and Europe

    Floriculture Consultancy 4U Company Name

    Contact Person Mr. Mordechay (Motti) Levy, General Manager Address P.O.B. 41 Ez Efrayim 44816, Israel

    Telephone No. 972-3-9063737


    Fax No. 972-3-9063737



    Summary of Offer Developing or Enlarging of a Floriculture Industry. Description of Offer The function of Floriculture Consultancy 4U is to transfer

    agricultural technology and know-how for the benefit of their

    clients: farms, projects and developing countries worldwide.

    Floriculture Consultancy 4U offers a unique package of

    comprehensive services which assists Floriculture, Cut Greens,

    Pot Plants (Foliage & Flowering House Plants) businesses to

    meet and exceed their goals. The services include:

    - Pre Investment in new projects.

    - Cluster Development in existing projects.

    - Improvement of low-yielding crops.

    - Adoption of new agricultural technologies

     (greenhouse structures, covering materials, heating,

     ventilation & cooling systems etc.)

    - Crop cultivation, problems, treatments, new growing

     methods, watering, fertilization, harvest and post-

     harvest management.

    - Diagnosis & control of pests and diseases.

    - Selecting old and new varieties that suit your

     conditions and needs.

    - Improvement of plants propagation process (seeds;

     cuttings etc.).

    - Hydroponics. How to produce hydroponics pots for

     indoor purposes.

    - Promoting production and marketing of high quality

     floriculture products to selected markets for both

     domestic and export markets.

    - Preparing economic analyses.

    - Research and analysis of horticultural data.

    - Research report preparation.

    - Suggesting more efficient management techniques.

    - Training growers and their staff.

    - Implementation supervision.

    - Cultivation of cut flowers in greenhouses.

    - Cultivation of cut flowers in open fields.

    - Cultivation of cut greens in net houses

    - Cultivation of pot plants (flowering and foliage house

     plants) in greenhouses and net houses.

    - Center establishment of Research Development and

    Implementation of new agricultural technology. Activity Service/ Consultation

    Target Countries All Countries

    Advanced Quality Ltd. Company Name:

    Mr. Dror Israeli Contact Person:

    Address: 8 Shoham St. Suit # 400, Ramat Gan, Israel Telephone No.: 972-3-6124660 , 972-525-908872 E-Mail:

    Web Site

    Year of Establishment 1975

    No. of Employees: 50

    Summary of offer: Export of Excellent Cutting Gem Stones

    Advanced Quality Ltd. offers Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Green, Description of Offer:

    Granet , natural Yellow sapphire, Spinel.

    Activity: Manufacturers and wholesalers of gem stones Target Countries: Europe and Japan.

    ELKAT Security Engineering Ltd. Company Name

    Contact Person Mr. Kobi Reuven

    Address 19 Mikve Israel St, Tel Aviv 65115, Israel Telephone No. 972-3-5604744

    Fax 972-3-5604745



    Year of Establishment 1985

    No. of Employees 10

    Summary of Offer ELKAT is specialized in Homeland Security devices, surveillance

    and counter-surveillance activities. Description of Offer ELKAT was founded in 1985 by security professionals. The

    company is dedicated to the development, production and

    marketing of highly sophisticated surveillance and security devices

    and systems.

    ELKAT is cooperating along with leading companies in the

    monitoring, encryption, tapping and jamming fields, as well as

    identification and exposure of explosives and drugs.

    Known as a major manufacturer in the security and surveillance


    ELKAT specializes in consulting and giving solutions in the

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