Israel has recently been accepted to the OECD. This recent development is likely to support growth in international trade and financial activity. According to the OECD, Israel's GDP grew by 0.7 percent in 2009, compared to an OECD average of minus 3.3 percent. The current growth forecast for 2010 and 2011 is 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
The bilateral business relations between Israel and the UK continue to thrive. Last figures show that the UK remains a key target market and destination for the Israeli exporters. During the first half of 2010, the UK became Israel’s third-biggest export market in the world and the biggest export market in Europe. On the other hand, Israel is the UK’s third biggest export market in the Middle East and major UK companies have significant business interests in Israel especially in the fields of science and technology due to Israel’s developed R&D capabilities.
Britain continues to remain a key target market and destination for the Israeli exporters. Israeli exports to the UK in the first half of this year equalled USD894 million, an increase of 54% in dollar terms compared to the same period last year. During the first half of 2010, UK became Israel’s third-biggest export market (from forth last year) and the first-biggest export market in Europe.
According to figures from the Export and International Cooperation Institute (IECI), U.S. remains the first export of goods (excluding diamonds) in the first half of the year with approximately $5.7 billion, an increase of 8% compared to last year. India became Israel’s second-biggest export market from eighth last year; UK third, Holland occupies the fourth place after a down second place in the first half of 2009, China climbed to 5th place (up from 11th place) and Germany ranked sixth (was third last year).
The Swiss Institute for Management Development (IMD) ranked Israel 17th out of 58 of the world's most economically developed nations in its 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook, raising it by seven spots from its 2009 ranking.
Israel was also rated first in several of the report's sub-categories. The Israeli economy was considered the most durable in the face of crises, and was ranked No. 1 for its expenditure in research and development as a percentage of gross domestic products (GDP). Israel also came in first for the innovative capacity of firms to generate new products, processes and services. In the business-efficiency category, Israel scored very high in availability of skilled labor, finance skills, entrepreneurship of managers and venture capital. For the full story please click here.