By Yoram Ettinger/JNS.org
While most of the world is afflicted
by an economic meltdown, Israel demonstrates fiscal responsibility, sustained
economic growth with no stimulus package, and a conservative, well-regulated
banking system with no banking or real estate bubble.
At 65, Israel’s credit rating is sustained by the three
leading global credit rating companies: Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s
and Fitch Ratings. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund commended Israel’s economic performance and
has expressed confidence in its long-term viability.
United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) Chairman
Kasper Villiger indicated that China,
Hong Kong, Brazil, Russia and Israel are the future growth engines for
UBS. Deloitte Touche, one of the top four global CPA
firms, opined that Israel is the fourth-most attractive site for overseas
investors. The Swiss-based Institute for Management Development ranks the Bank of Israel among the top five central
banks in its 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook for the third year in a row.
At 65, Israel’s economic indicators
are among the world’s best. For example, during the 2009-2012 global economic crisis
Israel experienced a 14.7 percent growth of gross domestic product, the highest
among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
Israel’s 2012 GDP growth (3.3 percent) led the OECD, which averaged 1.4
percent. Israel’s 2012 GDP of $250 billion catapulted to 120 times that of
1948. A $1,132-per capita GDP in 1962 surged to $32,000 in 2012. Israel managed to reduce its debt/GDP ratio from
100 percent in 2002 to 74 percent in 2012, while most of the world experiences
a soaring ratio. A 450-percent galloping inflation in 1984 has been held in
check in recent years—1.6 percent in 2012. Israel’s 2012 budget deficit and
unemployment were 4.2 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, much lower than
the OECD average of 7 percent and 8 percent.
Foreign exchange reserves—which are
critical to sustaining global confidence in Israel’s economy and Israel’s
capabilities during emergencies—expanded from $25 billion in 2004 to $75
billion in 2012, 26th in the world and one of the top per capita countries.
At 65, Israel’s robust demography—which leads the free world with
three births per Jewish woman—provides a tailwind for Israel’s economy.
At 65, Israel attracts the elite of
global high-tech due to its competitive edge. For instance, the prestigious
Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities includes four Israeli
universities among the top thirty computer science universities in the world.
Twenty universities are from the U.S., four from Israel, two each from Canada
and the UK, and one each from Switzerland and Hong Kong.
At 65, Israel leads the world in its
research and development manpower per capita. With 140 Israelis per 10,000 as
opposed to 85 per 10,000 in the United States, Israel is ahead of the rest of
the world. Israel’s qualitative workforce benefits from the annual aliyah (immigration
of Jews to Israel) of skilled persons from the former Soviet Union, Europe, the
U.S., Latin America and Australia, who join …read more