1. According to a Bloomberg study: “An examination of foreign capital flow into Israel shows a near tripling from 2005 when the so-called BDS was started…. Israel’s economy is expected to grow 2.8% in 2016, compared with 1.8% for the US and the EU.  In 2015, Israel’s industrial high-tech exports rose 13%, from 2014, to $23.7BN…. Israeli startups raised $3.76BN last year from non-Israeli investors, the highest annual amount in a decade…. Foreign investors spent an additional $5.89BN acquiring Israeli start-ups, including a Chinese $510MN purchase of Israel’s Lumenis, followed by a US private equity firm’s $438MN buyout of ClickSoftware Technologies….”

2. Car manufacturing giant, Ford, which is determined to develop a driverless car by 2021, just made its first acquisition in Israel, acquiring SAIPS, a computer vision and machine learning company, for several tens of millions of dollars. General Motors announced the tripling of the personnel in its Israeli research and development center, which has developed a number of technologies, enhancing GM’s competitive edge in the global market. Germany’s Volkswagen, concluded a strategic partnership agreement – involving a $300MN investment – with Israel’s taxi-hailing, delivery and logistics applications start-up, Gett Taxi.


3. According to Cisco’s Chairman, John Chambers: “Israel is truly a startup nation… ahead of every other country in innovation….” Cisco operates four R&D centers in Israel, employing 2,000 people, has acquired 13 Israeli companies, invested $150MN in 30 Israeli startups and $60MN in four Israeli venture capital funds.  According to Warren Buffet: “If you’re going to the Middle East to look for oil, you can skip Israel.  However, if you’re looking for brains, look no further.”

4.  Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, is a frequent investor in Israel’s high-tech via his own private venture capital fund, Innovation Endeavors. Schmidt state: “Israel is the most important high-tech center in the world after the US.” Google established a large engineering and sales operation in Israel.

5. Hewlett-Packard (HP), a personal computers and printers global giant, operates eight research and development centers in Israel.  Intel is one of 250 global high tech giants which operate R&D centers in Israel, operating four R&D centers and two manufacturing plants in Israel, invested in 80 Israeli startups.

6. The Wall Street Journal: “Steve Ballmer [former Microsoft’s CEO] calls Microsoft as much an Israeli company as an American company, because of the importance of its Israeli technologies. Google, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, eBay…live and die by the work of [their] Israeli teams….”

7. Israel is the most cost-effective laboratory of the US research and manufacturing establishments, producing win-win, mutually-beneficial ties with the US commercial and defense industries.

8. The USA, China, Europe, Russia and India are, actively, soliciting high-tech cooperation with Israel. India and Israel have negotiated a free trade zone, which will increase their current $5bn trade balance. Israel is second only to Russia in the exportation of military systems to India.

9.  Chinese investments in Israel surged from $70 MN in 2010 to $2.7 BN in 2015.  The China-Israel trade balance grew from $30MN in 1990 to $6 BN in 2009 and $11 BN in 2015.

10.  George Gilder, a high-tech guru and the author of The Israel Test, wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. defense and prosperity increasingly depend on the economic and technological power of Israel…. We need Israel as much as it needs us… Israel is the global master of microchip design, network algorithms and medical instruments…water recycling and desalinization…missile defense, robotic warfare, and UAVs…[supplying] Intel with many of its microprocessors… [supplying] Cisco with new core router designs and real-time programmable network processors… [supplying] Apple with miniaturized memory systems for its iPhones, iPods and iPads, and Microsoft with user interface designs….”

11. IBM just made its 11th Israeli acquisition, Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s leading venture capital funds, introduced its 5th Israeli-dedicated $200MN fund. Hong Kong’s $22.5BN Sir Li Ka-Shing, the 9th wealthiest person in the world, made his 7th Israeli investment. ChemChina acquired 60% of Agan  for $1.44BN. Germany’s Siemens acquired solar energy Solel ($418MN) and 40% of Arava Power ($15MN). Apple made its 1st Israeli acquisition – its first R&D center outside the USA – acquiring Anobit for $400MN. The Dallas-based DG acquired MediaMind $517MN.

12. In 2016, investment in Israel’s high tech – with the most startups per capita – may exceed the $4.43BN raised in 2015, which was 30% over 2014. The value of exits through mergers and acquisitions and IPOs climbed to over $9BN in 2015.


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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.