Israel's Economy

Candy giant Mars and Jerusalem Venture Partners are teaming up to build a food tech research hub In Israel

Mars, the $35 billion maker of M&Ms, Snickers and Iams pet food, and Jerusalem Venture Partners are creating a research and development center in Israel dedicated to scaling and commercializing tech solutions that touch any aspect of the global food system, from farming to nutrition. The research center – the first Mars has opened in Israel - will give funds to Israeli startups and work with academic researchers at institutions, such as the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute, the Technion, Migall and Tel Hai College, Forbes reported on May 15, 2019.

Fitch affirms Israel at 'A+' with an outlook of 'stable'

Fitch Ratings affirmed Israel's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating* at 'A+' with an outlook of ‘stable’ on March 25, 2019. The Bonds organization takes special pride in Fitch’s reference to “an active diaspora bond program” factoring into its assessment. Bonds President & CEO Israel Maimon said, “Our dedicated leadership and staff at every level are gratified to be a part of Israel’s economic resilience, and we will continue to build on a legacy that, since 1951, has provided Israel with over $42 billion in worldwide sales.” (*Israel bonds are not rated).

Standard & Poor’s affirms Israel’s AA- credit rating - the highest rating the Jewish state has ever received

The credit scoring agency sites the nation’s prosperous and diverse economy, external balance sheet and flexible monetary policy framework as reasons for the confirmation, reported by The Jerusalem Post on February 4, 2019. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed "another achievement for the Israeli economy," following S&P's affirmation of the credit rating* first received in August 2018 as a "very strong expression of confidence" in the country. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon called the announcement "further proof of the strength of the Israeli economy and its global status." (*Israel bonds are not rated).

Amazon finalizes deal to buy Israeli startup CloudEndure for $200 million

CloudEndure, which provides business continuity software solutions for disaster recovery, is not the first or the biggest Israeli acquisition by the e-commerce giant. In 2015, Amazon acquired Annapurna Labs for $360 million, which became the center for developing chips used by Amazon Web Services, its cloud-computing unit. Additionally, Amazon also has a smaller research and development unit in Israel working on its cashierless supermarkets, as well as another group working on computer vision for smart speakers. This most recent deal in Amazon’s storied past with Israel has been finalized in January 2019 and is expected to be promptly announced, according to Haaretz.


U.S.-Israel fund to invest $7.3 million in new joint innovation projects

The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved funding of eight new projects in January 2019 to be jointly developed by U.S. and Israeli companies, according to The Times of Israel. New investments will include educational and agricultural technology, energy, digital health, medical devices, and homeland security. “It’s satisfying to see how varied are the projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation with diversity in sectors, size of U.S. companies and their geographical location, enhancing BIRD’s impact, for mutual benefit of the U.S. and Israel,” said Phillip Singerman, associate director for Innovation and Industry Services at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and co-chairman of BIRD’s board of governors, following the announcement.


Israel is outperforming Europe and the OECD with accelerating growth

The nation's gross domestic product has been rising at an average annual rate of 3.69 percent since 2000, inflation has been negligible at 1.57 percent, and unemployment has fallen to half of its average for the period of 7.4 percent.

With a population of 8.4 million people, the Jewish state has outperformed its European counterparts. Israel’s GDP growth of 69 percent, since being upgraded it to developed-market status in 2009, is more than 17 times what Austria accomplished and almost three times what Switzerland achieved, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and highlighted in an op-ed entitled 'Israel’s Economy Is Too Strong to Argue About' on January 24, 2019. 


Israel ranked as world’s fifth-most innovative economy in the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index 

The Jewish state moved up five spots from last year and surpassed Singapore, Sweden and Japan in the process. After the index was published on January 22, 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, "Israel is a rising global power!"


The Government of Israel raised a record €2.5 billion ($2.88b.) - its largest ever - in the global debt capital markets 

On January 9, 2019, peak demand for the bonds was worth about €15 billion ($17.3b.), the most for a euro-denominated issuance. Over 300 investors from 30 countries, including Great Britain, Germany and France, participated in the groundbreaking deal. Consequently, Israel became the first nation in 2019 to announce a mandate for a euro-denominated issuance. Following the trailblazing circulation, Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu said, “The long bonds – a set for 10 years and a set for 30 years issued for the first time in euros – attests to the confidence of foreign investors in the Israeli economy.” Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon added, “The Israeli economy is enjoying excellent years of high growth, full employment and a low debt-to-GDP ratio,” The Jerusalem Post reported. 


View the most recent Government of Israel Ministry of Finance Office of the Accountant General Investor Newsletter here for informational purposes only. (The information contained herein has not been approved by Development Corporation for Israel nor does Development Corporation for Israel make any representations as to its accuracy. Development Corporation for Israel is not acting as underwriters, advisors or consultants to the entities referenced herein and has not done any analysis of their financial conditions or prospects. We encourage you to engage your lawyers, accountants and business advisors before you make any investments.)