Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

1. A direct correlation exists between the level of Nasdaq, on the one hand, and the strength of Israel’s Shekel, on the other hand. The higher the level of Nasdaq, the more US funds are available for investment in Israel’s hightech sector. Israel has become a unique source of innovative research and development – as well as an engine of export enhancement – for major US hightech companies.

2.  Israel’s export is expected to approach an all-time high of $132BN in 2020 – while import has declined substantially – due to the surge of the hightech sector. 10% of Israel’s working manpower is directly employed by the hightech sector (double the level employed in other OECD countries) with a substantial number of people, who are indirectly involved in hightech.


3. Direct foreign investment in Israel in 2020 is 20% higher than 2019 – approaching $25BN, of which $9.5BN-$10BN are hightech investment (20% higher than 2019). Since 2000, US businesses and individuals have invested over $100BN in Israel’s hightech sector.

4. Israel’s foreign exchange reserves as a percentage of GDP is 3rd among OECD countries. Israel’s total foreign exchange reserves are at an all-time high at $170BN, of which $17BN was acquired in 2020. Notwithstanding the unprecedented dollar acquisition by Bank of Israel – but due to the unprecedented level of foreign investment – Israel’s Shekel is gaining strength: 3.81 per US Dollar on March 17, 2020 and 3.23 on December 22, 2020.

5. Israel’s national debt-to-GDP ratio was 60%, before the arrival of COVID 19, compared to 109% for the USA. In December 2020, it is 76%, compared to 131% for the USA.

6. Israel’s public savings in 2020 has increased by 1.4% compared to 2019.

7. The IMF’s outlook report for 2025: Israel – 4% GDP growth ($500BN annual GDP), Turkey, Columbia, Latvia and Estonia – 3%, Ireland and Australia – 2.5%, OECD average – 2.1%, Sweden – 2%, USA – 1.75%, France – 1.7%, Canada – 1.7%, Switzerland – 1.3%, Germany – 1.2%.

8. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) international rating agency reaffirmed Israel’s credit rating of a stable AA-, despite the impact of COVID 19, the growing budget deficit and domestic political instability, but due to Israel’s thriving hightech industries, strong external accounts, the deep pool of domestic savings, the effects of the recent peace accords and the expansion of natural gas investment and export (e.g., Chevron’s acquisition of Nobel Energy’s offshore assets in the Eastern Mediterranean, which has geopolitical and economic implications).

Fitch and Moody’s international rating companies sustained their stable A+ and stable A1 credit ratings for Israel, respectively.

9. Israel’s peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are expected to add 0.25% ($1BN) to Israel’s GDP through agricultural and hightech export, hightech investment, oil import and mutual tourism.

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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.