Since gaining independence in 1948, Israel’s economy has flourished. Apart from making the desert bloom, Israeli technology and knowhow have transformed the modern world.
From the discovery of quasi-crystals to the invention of the world’s smallest video camera, to the development of the drug Copaxone to treat multiple sclerosis to the invention of the USB, Israeli technology is everywhere.
Many global companies and businesses have seen the potential of using Israeli labor and technology. The first of these was IBM, which established itself in Israel in 1949. Recently, I interviewed Meir Nissensohn, former CEO of IBM Israel, on The Goldstein on Gelt Show to find out what originally brought the company to the Israel and what Israel can offer to investors today.
Meir Nissensohn explained that the Israeli government first invited IBM to Israel to conduct a census. “After being here, they saw the potential of the young country and decided to stay,” he told me. Evidently, IBM is happy with the decision and it is still a big player here today.
When I asked Nissensohn about “brain drain,” when Israeli knowhow is used to bring profits to foreign companies, he told me that Israeli technology and the marketing leverage of a multinational enterprise can be a winning combination. Citing the example of IBM’s Global Technology Unit, he said, “IBM has got the need and the market reach. If we go to the market together, this is going to be a win-win. One plus one is going to be not three or four, but 10.”
The story of IBM in Israel and the development of Israeli knowhow and technology is clearly a happy one. Motorola, Intel, and other global leaders have followed the same lead, and hopefully other international corporations will follow suit. Of course, we can’t omit the many Israeli start-ups that have also boosted Israel’s economy.
We hope that the story of IBM and all of the other companies will continue to show the success of the Israeli dream onwards and into the future.
If you would like to hear more of what Meir Nissensohn has to say about IBM and the Israeli economy watch the video below, or download the podcast.
About the Author: Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd, a financial planning firm located in Jerusalem. He specializes in working with clients in New York, Florida, and Israel and is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, SIFMA. Accounts held at Pershing LLC., Member NYSE/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Neither Profile nor PRG gives tax or legal advice. Before immigrating to Israel, it is advisable to consult with a tax attorney who is knowledgeable about Israeli law. Doug’s newest book The Expatriates’ Guide to Handling Money and Taxes is available at www.expatguidetomoney.com. He hosts a weekly finance show, Goldstein on Gelt, on internet radio. Listen live or download podcasts. Toll-free from U.S. 1-888-327-6179, Jerusalem: (02) 624-2788. Follow on Twitter: @DougGoldstein or contact at email@example.com.
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