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Israel's new shekel notes

1. 2000 to 2019:

*Population – from 6.2 million to 9.1 million (47% growth);
*Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – from $132BN to $404BN (206% growth);
*GDP per capita – from $21,000 to $44,000 (110% growth);
*Export – from $47BN to $117BN (149% growth);
*Women in the workforce – from 48% to 60% (25% growth);
*University/college students – from 70,000 to 316,000 (351% growth);
*Incoming tourists – from 2.31 million to 4.87 million (108% growth);
*Water desalination – from 2% to 26% (1,300% growth);
*Foreign exchange reserves – from $24BN to $119BN (396% growth);
*Government debt per GDP – from 77% to 58.5% (24.7% reduction);
*US “aid” per GDP – from 2.3% to 1% (57% reduction);
*Defense budget per GDP – from 9% to 5% (44% reduction);
*Tax burden – from 43% to 32% (26% reduction);
*Number of vehicles per 1,000 people – from 277 to 396 (43% growth);
*Emigrants per 100,000 people – from 340 to 160 (51% reduction).

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Source: Dr. Adam Reuter, the Chairman and Founder of “Financial Immunities,” Israel’s largest financial-risk management firm, and the co-author of Israel – Island of Success.

2.  In 2010-2019, Israel’s hightech sector raised $39.1BN, mostly from foreign investors.  In 2019, Israel’s technology sector raised $8.3BN, 30% over 2018, and compared to $2.1BN in 2010. In 2019, Artificial Intelligence firms raised $3.7BN (Globes Business Daily, January 9, 2020).

3. In 2019, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange featured more than 55% rate of return in the hightech sector, 70% in real estate and almost 30% in banking. In 2019, the total of hightech exits reached $10BN – twice as in 2018 – with a 30% rise in the number of transactions. The hightech sector rose 63% in 2019, twice as high as NASDAQ, and 200% since mid-2011.

The sustained growth of the hightech sector, during the recent 25 years, has been a byproduct of the unique interaction among Israel’s educational, (defense and commercial) industrial, military and academic/research infrastructures, bolstered by Israel’s brain-power and government assistance (Globes, January 20).

4. Insight Partners, the NY-based venture capital fund, acquired Israel’s Armis (cyber and IoT – interrelated computing devices) for $1.1BN. In October 2019, Insight set, in Israel, its first overseas office.  Since 1995, Insight invested $700MN in Israeli hightech companies.

5.  Koch Industries’ KDT Medical Investments increased its holding in Israel’s Insightec (medical equipment) by $100MN, in addition to a previous investment of $150MN (Globes January 7).

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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.