EMBASSY OF ISRAEL TO LATVIA AND LITHUANIA
ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS NEWS
LATEST STATISTICAL DATA
INFORMATION FROM ECONOMICS DEPARTMENT
ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS NEWS
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:
www.OECD.gov.il 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.
LATEST STATISTICAL DATA
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
http://www.cbs.gov.il/fr_trade/td1.htm Trade with Latvia and Lithuania
? Data from Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel (www.csb.gov.il)
? Gross Domestic Product reached 160,551 NIS millions in the first quarter of 2007, growin
? 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%.
Please, also see ISRAEL’S MAIN ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL INDICATORS
INFORMATION FROM ECONOMICS
Trade cooperation with Israel
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FROM ISRAEL
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
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
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-
- Diagnosis & control of pests and diseases.
- Selecting old and new varieties that suit your
conditions and needs.
- Improvement of plants propagation process (seeds;
- Hydroponics. How to produce hydroponics pots for
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site www.advancedacc.com
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
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
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