Israel’s economic growth during the last five years (21%) is higher than all OECD countries, besides Turkey. Israel’s economy grew 270% over the last 20 years, while Israel’s population grew 145%. Israel’s unemployment is its lowest ever – 5.4%. The strength of Israel’s exports is derived from its multitude of companies, diversified technologies and products, reaching diversified markets, cutting edge technologies, focusing on essential products (medical, telecommunications, Internet, water technologies, energy alternatives, homeland security, defense), preferring high tech over raw material, expanding joint ventures with global giants, bolstering research & development (world leader in percentage of GDP).
Israel is expected to become a net-exporter of natural gas by2018. Israel’s economy receives a tailwind from an annual Aliya (Jewish immigration), reduced emigration, accelerated return by expatriates, an expanding young population (especially due to rising fertility rate of the secular sector), a growing integration of the ultra-orthodox community in Israel’s workforce and military service and the potential for a dramatic wave of Aliya due to economic, political, security, and social circumstances in the former USSR, France, England, Argentina and the USA (Adam Reuter, Financial Immunities, March 14, 2012).
Intel’s exports from Israel – $2.2BN in 2011. Since 1999, Intel’s exports from Israel total $22.5BN (Globes Business Daily, March 19). Intel employs 7,800 persons in Israel – 10% of Intel’s global manpower. 700 were hired in 2011, projecting 600 more in 2012. Abbott Laboratories – which acquired Israel’s SrarLims in 2010 – concluded a 3-year cooperation agreement with Israel’s Weizmann Institute (Globes, February 7).
Credit Suisse reported a 5.35% holding in Israel’s $12BN CheckPoint – $643MN (Globes, February 10). Virginia-based Tamro Capital Partners and San Francisco-based Parnassus Investments announced a 5.9% and a5.7% holding in Israel’s Ceragon – $18MN and $17MN respectively (Globes, February 10). The NJ-based Avaya acquired Israel’s RadVision for $230MN (Globes, March 16). The $21BN Broadcom acquired Israel’s BroadLight for $200MN- Broadcom’s 10th acquisition of an Israeli company in 10 years (5th since 2009), leveraging the top quality Israeli human resource – innovations; which are transformed into cutting-edge technologies, manufacturing lines and exports. Broadcom has intensified its Israel operations during the last two years (Globes, March 21, 2012). Goldman Sachs acquired 10% of Israel’s Viola Group fro $200MN (Globes, February 22). The NYC-based W Capital Partners acquired, from Yozma VC Fund, 3% of Israel/US Conduit for $39MN (March 19).
San Francisco-based Koshla Ventures and Burrill & Co. and Menlo Park-based Triple Point led a $30MN round by Israel’s HCL-Virdia (Globes, March 8). France Télécom, the French Publicis Groupe and Iris Capital co-led a $15MN round of private placement by Israel’s MyThings, joined by Silicon Valley’s Accel Partners and Deutsche Telecom investment arm T-Venture (Globes, March 21). The Boston-based Spark Capital led a $15MN round by Israel’s eToro (Globes, March 14). A West Coast investment bank led a $13MN round by Israel’s Vascular Dynamics (Globes, March 8).
2011 mergers & acquisitions of 85 Israeli high tech companies (27% increase over 2010) – $5.1BN, the highest sum in 10 years, except the 2006 bubble ($11BN).
About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.
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